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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 7, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 23
One million new STIs every day, WHO says
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One million new STIs every day, WHO says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

More than one million new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) occur every single day, the World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated. That means more than 376 million new cases annually of four infections - chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and syphilis.

Compared with its last global analysis in 2012, WHO warns that there has been 'no substantive decline' in the rates of new or existing infections.

Its analysis suggests that one in 25 people globally has at least one of these four STIs, with some experiencing multiple infections at the same time.

WHO called the numbers a 'wake-up call' that highlights the lack of progress in stopping the spread of STIs.

WHO regularly evaluates global estimates of the four common sexually transmitted infections taken from published research and reports from health workers in countries around the world.

The figures suggest that among people aged 15-49 in 2016 there were:

" 156 million new cases of trichomoniasis

" 127 million new cases of chlamydia

" 87 million new cases of gonorrhea

" 6.3 million new cases of syphilis

Trichomoniasis is caused by infection by a parasite during sex. Chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea are bacterial infections.

Bacterial STIs can be treated and cured with widely available medications, but doctors are particularly concerned about the rise in drug-resistant STIs.

Syphilis treatment has been made more difficult because of a shortage in the specific kind of penicillin needed, and there has been an increase in cases of so-called 'super-gonorrhea,' which is almost impossible to treat.

Dr. Tim Jinks, head of Wellcome's drug-resistant infection program, warned that 'untreatable cases of gonorrhea are harbingers of a wider crisis, where common infections are harder and harder to treat.

'We urgently need to reduce the spread of these infections and invest in new antibiotics and treatments to replace those that no longer work.'

Safer sex practices, particularly condom use, and better access to testing are both crucial to controlling STIs, WHO added.

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