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Aidscaptions. 1996 May;3(1):9-13.

Syndromic management: promoting effective STD diagnosis in resource-poor settings.



There is considerable evidence that infection with sexually transmitted diseases (STD) significantly increases one's risk of contracting and transmitting HIV. Health organizations worldwide have therefore expressed considerable interest in preventing and treating STDs as a way of curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS. Many poor countries, however, have neither enough money, trained medical personnel, nor laboratory resources to test their citizens for STDs. The World Health Organization promotes the syndromic management of STDs as an alternative approach to diagnosing and treating STD patients. The clinician who uses the syndromic approach bases his diagnosis and treatment upon syndromes, groups of clinical findings and patient symptoms, rather than the identification through testing of specific diseases. Treatment is offered for all diseases which could cause a given syndrome. Health care personnel use simple flow charts which map out the steps needed to determine symptoms and treatment. The specific pathways ideally reflect STD prevalence and drug availability in the immediate region. The syndromic management of STDs is ideal for resource-poor settings because laboratory tests are not needed, the diagnostic process is simplified for health workers without advanced medical skills or experience, and treatment begins immediately.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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