WHO: One million new cases of sexually transmitted infection occurs everyday
There has been no improvement from 2012, when the last data analysis was done. On average, one in 25 people globally have an STI. Sometimes people have recurring or multiple infections.
Annually, 376 million new cases of curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs) occur among people aged 15 to 49 years, estimates the Worth Health Organisation (WHO). This is equivalent to one million cases, every day.
These curable infections are of four types, namely, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, and Trichomoniasis.
In 2016, there were 127m new cases of chlamydia, 87m cases of gonorrhoea, 6.3m cases of syphilis, and 156m cases of trichomoniasis among men and women aged 15 to 49.
2016 is the latest year for which there is adequate data. There has been no improvement from 2012 when the last data analysis was done. On average, one in 25 people globally has an STI. Sometimes people have recurring or multiple infections.
STIs are spread through unprotected sexual contact. Some—including chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis—are transmitted during pregnancy and childbirth. In the case of syphilis, contact with infected blood or blood products can cause transmission. 9,88,000 pregnant women were infected with syphilis in 2016. This led to approximately 2,00,000 stillbirths and newborn deaths.
Over 30 different bacteria, viruses, and parasites can be transmitted through sexual contact. Of these, eight pathogens are linked to sexually transmitted diseases and four are curable. The other four—hepatitis B, herpes simplex virus (HSV or herpes), HIV, and human papillomavirus (HPV)—are viral infections and are incurable.
The majority of STIs have no symptoms or only exhibit mild symptoms which are often not recognized as stemming from an STI. With increasing drug resistance, there is a major threat to reducing the impact of STIs worldwide.
Dr Peter Salama, the executive director for universal health coverage and the life-course at the WHO, said: “We’re seeing a concerning lack of progress in stopping the spread of sexually transmitted infections worldwide. This is a wake-up call for a concerted effort to ensure everyone, everywhere, can access the services they need to prevent and treat these debilitating diseases.”
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