During emergencies, changes in the behavior and emotional condition of people reflects the need to relieve tensions which build up while the emergency continues. Sexual gratification is a relatively common way for some adults to relieve stress. Studies show that at high levels of tension and anxiety, the search for sexual activity can become compulsive. This compulsion can even lead to acts of sexual aggression, directed chiefly against women, children, the elderly, and handicapped persons. It can occur in the home, in public, or in shelters or temporary refuges. There is the further consideration that regular measures for epidemiological control of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, and for the clinical management of AIDS cases, can be temporarily disrupted. Thus it is necessary to act swiftly and decisively to prevent the transmission of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and HIV/AIDS.
With a view to reducing the risk of transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, the following activities should be included among the chief points to consider in the preparation of emergency responses:
Department of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief
Tel: (202) 974-3434
Regional Office of the World Health Organization