Number of men reported with urethral discharge in the past 12 months

Export Indicator

Number of men reported with urethral discharge in the past 12 months STI Pilot Indicators (to be reported by PAHO and EMRO countries only)
What it measures

Progress in reducing unprotected sex in men.


Urethral discharge in men is an STI syndrome generally most commonly caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae or Chlamydia trachomatis. Presentation with an acute STI syndrome such as urethral discharge is a marker of unprotected sexual intercourse and urethral discharge facilitates HIV transmission and acquisition. Therefore, surveillance for urethral discharge contributes to second-generation HIV surveillance through providing early warning of the epidemic potential of HIV from sexual transmission and on-going high-risk sexual activity that may need more aggressive programme interventions to reduce risk. Furthermore, untreated urethral discharge can result in infertility, blindness, and disseminated disease. Increasing resistance to currently recommended treatment options for Neisseria gonorrhoeae may render this infection untreatable.


Number of men reported with urethral discharge during the reporting period


Number of males aged 15 and older per UNPD

Method of measurement

Routine health information systems.

Data Quality Control and Notes for the Reporting Tool: Recommended indicator in: “Strategies and laboratory methods for strengthening surveillance of sexually transmitted infection 2012”

Measurement frequency
Explanation of the numerator
Explanation of the denominator
Strengths and weaknesses

Although WHO has provided a global case definition, actual case definition may vary between and within countries. Furthermore, clinical diagnostic capacity may vary between and within countries. Although underreporting of this indicator may occur, in the absence of changes in case definition or major changes in screening practices, these data can generally be used for following trends over time within a country.

Additional considerations: It is important that countries when reporting on urethral discharge communicate on the extent to which the data are felt to be representative of the national population.
Following trends in urethral discharge is a feasible means to monitor incident STI in a population. Data on vaginal discharge among women, although useful for monitoring purposes at a local and national level, are not requested at the global level because in many settings the majority of vaginal discharge cases are not due to sexually transmitted infections.
Countries should conduct periodic assessments of the etiology of urethral discharge syndrome in order to understand the predominant causes of urethral discharge and therefore appropriate therapy.

Data utilization: Look at trends in comparable groups over time.

Further information