Travel Hazards

Blood-Borne and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Travelers who choose to have intimate contact with new partners are at increased risk for acquiring sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV infection and hepatitis B. Consistent and proper use of latex condoms can reduce the risk of HIV and STD infection.

Infections such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV can be transmitted via procedures performed without properly sterilized equipment or infection control. These might include tattoos, piercings, acupuncture, dental work, injections, intravenous infusions or cosmetic surgery. Manicures and razor shaves with unsterile equipment are also of concern. Should you need to seek health care, go to the center with the highest standards of care available. Since the blood supply in many countries is not fully screened for infections, transfusions should only be performed only in medical emergencies. If you experience severe illness or injury, medical evacuation to a country with higher-quality care might be advisable.