AN estimated 357 million new infections with 1 of 4 STIs namely chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis are contracted each year amidst indications that more than million new STIs are acquired daily, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.
According to a research by WHO, more than 290 million women have a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and the majority of STIs have no symptoms or only mild symptoms that may not be recognized as an STI.
“STIs such as HSV type 2 and syphilis can increase the risk of HIV acquisition. 988 000 pregnant women were infected with syphilis in 2016, resulting in over 200 000 stillbirths and newborn deaths. In some cases, STIs can have serious reproductive health consequences beyond the immediate impact of the infection itself (e.g., infertility or mother-to-child transmission)
“Drug resistance, especially for gonorrhoea, is a major threat to reducing the impact of STIs worldwide,” said WHO.
WHO added that STIs can have serious consequences beyond the immediate impact of the infection itself and STIs like herpes and syphilis can increase the risk of HIV acquisition three-fold or more.
“Mother-to-child transmission of STIs can result in stillbirth, neonatal death, low-birth-weight and prematurity, sepsis, pneumonia, neonatal conjunctivitis, and congenital deformities. Over 900 000 pregnant women were infected with syphilis resulting in approximately 350 000 adverse birth outcomes including stillbirth in 2012 (2).
“HPV infection causes 528 000 cases of cervical cancer and 266 000 cervical cancer deaths each year. STIs such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia are major causes of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility in women.”