'Pulari'- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) testing and treatment services for everyone
What is 'Pulari'?
'Pulari' or STI clinics are centres for the treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections free of cost to anyone who walks into the clinics.
Why the service is provided?
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are diseases that are mainly passed from one person to another (that is transmitted) through unprotected (unsafe) sexual intercourse. These diseases were once called Venereal Diseases(VD), but the term is not used currently. There are many different sexually transmitted infections with a range of different symptoms. These diseases may be spread through vaginal, anal and oral sex.
Some of the common STIs include genital warts, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Syphilis. Common syptoms of STIs include discharge from penis or vagina, painful urination, painful sexual intercourse, itching, rashes, ulcers and sores on the genital area, mouth or anus and swollen lymph nodes in the groin area.
The relationship between HIV and sexually transmitted infections is well recognized. The overwhelming majority of HIV infections are sexually acquired, as are STIs. Both conditions arise out of high-risk behaviour and multiple partners. Moreover, the risk of acquiring HIV increases several fold with coexisting STIs because of the damages caused to the sexual organs by the STIs. Hence, prompt and early treatment of sexually transmitted infections is an important strategy for preventing as well as controlling HIV infection. To read facts about STIs and safe sexual practises click here.
Since about 6% of the adult population may have STIs, it is essential to provide free and easily available treatment at all health care facilities. Because adequate laboratory test facilities are seldom available, or the patient needs to comeback to get results a simplified approach of diagnosing and treating symptomatic STIs has been devised. This method is known as the Syndromic Management of STIs. This has made STI control feasible even in remote areas. This approach classifies a set of easily recognised symptoms such as genital discharge or ulcers into standardized disease categories which are treated with well defined regimens of drugs of fixed duration.
What Services are provided?
Pulari centres provide STI treatment services free of cost to those who seek services from the centre. It is staffed by...
1. Medical Officer
2. Staff nurse
3. Lab technician
Currently, there are 21 Pulari centres functioning in Kerala. Out of this, 14 are in district hospitals and the rest are in Govt. Medical Colleges / Co-op. Medical Colleges (Pariyaram and Kochi)
To find about a Pulari centre near you click here.