WHO warns of silent epidemic study: Every fourth person carries a sexually transmitted disease

WHO warns of silent epidemic study: Every fourth person carries a sexually transmitted disease

The World Health Organization is sounding the alarm: more than a million people around the world are infected with sexually transmitted diseases every day – and usually don’t know anything about them. As carriers of the pathogen, they can still transmit the diseases during sex.

“This is a silent and dangerous epidemic,” says Melanie Taylor, who contributed to the study by the World Health Organization (WHO). And the numbers speak for themselves: one in four people is now infected, often with several pathogens. According to estimates, 376 million new infections with trichomonads, genococci, chlamydia or syphilis are added every year.

The already high numbers relate only to the four diseases mentioned in the age group of 15 to 49 year olds. Viral diseases, including all infections with HIV, are not included in these calculations.

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“This is a wake-up call”

WHO Director Peter Salama speaks of a “wake-up call” in view of the dramatic development. “Joint efforts” in the prevention and treatment of these diseases are urgently required. Even the consistent use of condoms during sex could ensure that their spread will be restricted in the future. Greater investments in education and the provision of tests and drugs are also needed.

In terms of treatment, Salama emphasizes that these STDs are curable if detected in time. For example, in the case of genococci, which are responsible for gonorrhea, the risk of antibiotic resistance increases with the enormous spread. In the long term, this could mean that there is no longer any possibility of treatment.

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Women affected worse than men

The effects of the “silent epidemic” are already enormous. According to the study, women in particular are affected. Although the number of new infections is balanced in both sexes, it is much easier for bacteria to establish themselves permanently in the female body.

The dire consequences include fallopian tube pregnancies and stillbirths. In 2016 alone, around 200,000 babies died shortly before or shortly after birth because their mothers had contracted syphilis in the past, according to the study.

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Lust and passion often have priority, but especially if you don’t know your sex partner that well, you should also think about possible health consequences if you have unprotected sexual intercourse. The first thing that comes to mind is AIDS, syphilis or gonorrhea – but doctors also warn against Mycoplasma Genitalium. Because this disease can have dire consequences!

Trichomonads most common

According to the findings of the scientists, who evaluated hundreds of data sets for their study, trichomonads are by far the most common. The parasites are responsible for 40 percent of all diseases examined. Detected early, the infection can be easily combated with tablets or vaginal suppositories. In many cases, however, it goes unnoticed, either because men do not experience any symptoms or because discharge or severe itching occurs later. Unknowingly, this means that it is very likely to be transmitted to the partner, which will later cause severe inflammation and – as with the bacterium Mycoplasma Genitalium – could lead to infertility.

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