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WHO warns of increase in sexually transmitted infections

Geneva, May 21 (Prensa Latina) Global HIV, viral hepatitis epidemics and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as syphilis and gonorrhea continue to pose significant public health challenges, causing 2.5 million deaths each year, according to a new WHO report.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) document, new syphilis cases among adults aged 15-49 years went up by over 1 million in 2022 reaching 8 million. The highest surges occurred in the Region for the Americas and the African Region.

“The rising incidence of syphilis raises major concerns”, said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Fortunately, there has been important progress on a number of other fronts including in accelerating access to critical health commodities including diagnostics and treatment. We have the tools required to end these epidemics as public health threats by 2030, but we now need to ensure that, in the context of an increasingly complex world, countries do all they can to achieve the ambitious targets they set themselves”.

Four curable STIs – syphilis (Treponema pallidum), gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae), chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis), and trichomoniasis (Trichomonas vaginalis) – account for over 1 million infections daily. The report notes a surge in adult and maternal syphilis (1.1 million) and associated congenital syphilis (523 cases per 100 000 live births per year) during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2022, there were 230 000 syphilis-related deaths.

In 2022, around 1.2 million new hepatitis B cases and nearly 1 million new hepatitis C cases were recorded.

The estimated number of deaths from viral hepatitis rose from 1.1 million in 2019 to 1.3 million in 2022 despite effective prevention, diagnosis, and treatment tools.

At the same time, new HIV-AIDS infections only declined from 1.5 million in 2020 to 1.3 million in 2022.

An estimated 55% of new HIV infections occur among these populations and their partners. HIV-related deaths continue to be high. In 2022, there were 630 000 HIV related deaths, 13% of these occurring in children under the age of 15 years.

HIV-related deaths remain high, and in 2022, there were 630,000 deaths, 13% of which popped in children under the age of 15.

“We have the tools to end these epidemics as public health threats by 2030, but we must now ensure that, in the context of an increasingly complex world, countries do all they can to achieve the ambitious targets they set for themselves,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Pll/ro/cdg

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