Advisory Services for Travel and Tropical Medicine
As a result of increased business travel between the Vorarlberg and tropical countries advisory services for travel and tropical medicine are being developed. The Vorarlberg, in the western part of Austria, has a population of more than 350000. It is next to Vienna, the most industrialized part of Austria, and 60% of its production is exported. This represents more than 2.5 billion US$ worth of products, primarily textiles and machinery. This high level of industrialization and exports results in many foreign contacts and business trips, and the sending of personnel abroad. In addition, there is more travel to tropical countries for tourism, trekking, expeditions and adventure including the so-called sex tourism. The most popular destinations include Southeast Asia, East Africa and tropical South America. Travelers to such destinations need medical advice for prevention and follow-up care. Travel to distant places may evoke the feeling that certain things are permissible, including sexual contacts, which are not part of usual behavior or life at home. Thus, travel may lead to a sense of liberation from usual cares and responsibilities and may lead to the so-called “cruise romance syndrome.” It is especially important that travelers are aware of the basic aspects of transmission of AIDS and that they realize that precautions that should also be taken at home are especially important abroad. If one decides to have sex with an unknown person or casual aquaintance, it is essential to use a condom properly, i.e., each time and from start to finish because appearance cannot indicate whether someone is infected. Therefore, a suitable supply of condoms needs to be carried. AIDS infection may also be acquired by blood transfusion if the blood is not screened for HIV, or by the use of contaminated needles, syringes or other instruments that perforate the skin.