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WHO Report: 1 Million New Cases of Sexually Transmitted Infections Everyday

Sexually Transmitted Infections

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When 20-year-old Roshni Kumari (name changed) a college student, got infected in her reproductive organ, her gynaecologist told that she was suffering from Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). Roshni reached to her doctor at a stage when she got pregnant before marriage and wanted to go for an abortion.

“This patient (Roshni) was a clear cut case of unprotected intercourse. Investigations revealed that her tube was blocked because of STD. She did not visit the expert at an early stage of infection and her case got complicated,” Dr. Shobha Gupta, Medical Director and IVF Specialist From Mother’s Lap IVF Centre, Delhi told TheHealth.

The World Health Organization’s Bulletin published online in June 2019 revealing that there are an average of just over 1 million new Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) each day.

A global total was around 376.4 million new curable urogenital infections with Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Trichomoniasis and Syphilis in 15–49-year-old women and men in 2016.

“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,” said Dr Peter Salama, Executive Director for Universal Health Coverage and the Life-Course at WHO.

STDs Prevalence In India:

“People do not admit that they are having unprotected intercourse. I see these kind of cases in youngsters and college goers also.Youngsters avoid sharing this problem with experts because of social pressure,” said Dr. Gupta.

Health experts say that in India, cases of STDs are very much prevalent and ignored also. Some infections like Chlamydia and Syphilis are silent infections.

Sometimes, these infections do not represent any symptoms and go unnoticed. Though, gonorrhoea represent symptoms. These infections affect the tubes of the patients and hampers the process of conceiving baby also.

“Chlamydia infection is very common in India because of unprotected intercourse, not using condoms and having multiple partners. We should have screening and awareness camps to educate people more about it. Chlamydia leads to genital and urinary infections. STD infections make patients very difficult to conceive,” said Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj, Consultant Infertility and IVF Nurture Clinic, Delhi.

“In India, youngsters don’t share their problems about sexually transmitted infections to avoid being questioned on sexual practices. When a patient is already infected then newborns are at risk of catching infections and life threats also. There is a need to educate people on this topic,” said Dr R K Singhal, head of internal medicine department at BLK hospital, New Delhi.

“Syphilis causes multiple congenital defects in the newborn babies. Sometimes, it is very life threatening to the newborn babies causing blindness, brain damage and kidney damage to the infants. In almost every 4-5 IVF patients, we find the blocked tube because of STDs. It affects repeated pregnancies also causing abortions,” said Dr. Gupta.

As per WHO Report, STIs Increase The Severe Health Risks Like HIV:

STIs are most common communicable diseases which affect the health and lives of people worldwide.

Prevalence and incidence data play an important role in the design and evaluation of programs and interventions for sexually transmitted infections and in interpreting changes in HIV epidemiology.

These sexually transmitted infections cause acute urogenital conditions. Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea can cause serious short- and long-term complications, including pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, chronic pelvic pain and arthritis, and they can be transmitted during pregnancy or delivery.

Syphilis can cause neurological, cardiovascular and dermatological disease in adults, and stillbirth, neonatal death, premature delivery or severe disability in infants.

All four infections are implicated in increasing the risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition and transmission.

Moreover, people with sexually transmitted infections often experience stigma, stereotyping, vulnerability, shame and gender-based violence.

In May 2016, the World Health Assembly adopted the Global health sector strategy on sexually transmitted infections, 2016–2021.

This strategy includes interventions and services to end sexually transmitted infections as public health concerns by 2030.

Numbers of Sexually Transmitted Infections:

These incidence rates translate globally into 127.2 million new chlamydia cases, 86.9 million gonorrhoea cases, 156.0 million trichomoniasis cases and 6.3 million syphilis cases in women and men aged 15–49 years in 2016.

Surprisingly, report showed a huge number of sexually transmitted infections even when major studies were excluded related to patients seeking care for sexually transmitted infection or urogenital symptoms, women presenting at gynaecology or sexual health clinics with sexually transmitted infection related issues and men who have sex with men and commercial sex workers.

Using the World Bank classification, low-income countries, territories and areas had the highest prevalence of gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis and syphilis.

For chlamydia, estimated prevalence was highest in upper-middle income countries, territories and areas.

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