WHO reports a significant increase in sexually transmitted infections

HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections remain major public health challenges globally, causing 2.5 million deaths each year:

New cases of syphilis among adults aged 15 to 49 increased by more than one million in 2022, reaching eight million, and there were 230,000 syphilis-related deaths.

The largest increases occurred in America and Africa.

Health goals at risk

He report It warned that the rise in STIs, combined with an insufficient decline in reducing new HIV infections and viral hepatitis globally, threatens the health goals that are part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saying The increasing incidence of syphilis raises major concerns..

“Fortunately, there have been important advances on several other fronts, including accelerating access to critical health products, including diagnosis and treatment,” he added.

Multidrug-resistant gonorrhea

Syphilis is one of the four curable STIs which together represent more than a million daily infections. The others are gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, countries experienced an increase in maternal and adult syphilis (1.1 million cases) and associated congenital syphilis, with 523 cases per 100,000 live births per year.

New data also shows an increase in multidrug-resistant gonorrhea. The WHO reported that in 2023, of 87 countries where enhanced surveillance of gonorrhea antimicrobial resistance was carried out, nine reported high levels of resistance to the drug ceftriaxone, described as the “last line of treatment.”

The WHO is monitoring the situation and has updated its recommended treatment in an effort to reduce the spread.

Hepatitis and HIV

Approximately 1.2 million new cases of hepatitis B and almost one million new cases of hepatitis C were reported in 2022. The estimated number of deaths from viral hepatitis increased from 1.1 million in 2019 to 1.3 million in 2022, despite effective prevention, diagnosis and treatment tools.

Meanwhile, new HIV infections only decreased from 1.5 million in 2020 to 1.3 million in 2022.

The WHO said five key groups – men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender people and people in prisons and other closed settings – still experience significantly higher HIV prevalence rates than the general population. .

HIV-related deaths remain high: 630,000 occurred in 2022, 13 percent of which occurred among children aged 15 years or younger.

Silver lining

The report also highlights progress in expanding services for STIs, HIV and hepatitis.