GENEVA – According to a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on June 6, every day, there are more than 1m new cases of curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among people aged 15-49 which amounts to more than 376m new cases annually of four infections; chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, and syphilis hence on average, approximately 1 in 25 people globally have at least one of these STIs, with some experiencing multiple infections at the same time.
The latest research that was carried out in 2016 shows there were 127m new cases of chlamydia,87 million of gonorrhoea, 6.3 million of syphilis and 156 million of trichomoniasis.
“We’re seeing a concerning lack of progress in stopping the spread of sexually transmitted infections worldwide,” said Dr Peter Salama, Executive Director for Universal Health Coverage at WHO.
STIs can be spread through unprotected sexual contact including vaginal, anal and oral sex whereas syphilis can also be transmitted during pregnancy and childbirth, through contact with infected blood or blood products, and injecting drug use.
The report shows if STI’s are untreated, they can lead to serious and chronic health effects that include neurological and cardiovascular disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirths, and increased risk of HIV. They are also associated with significant levels of stigma and domestic violence.
“Syphilis alone caused an estimated 200 000 stillbirths and newborn deaths in 2016, making it one of the leading causes of baby loss globally, “reads the report in part.
“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,” Dr Peter remarked.