Wednesday, December 07, 2022

United States: the sharp increase in sexually transmitted diseases worries

The sharp rise in cases of certain sexually transmitted and blood-borne diseases (STBBIs), including syphilis, is prompting US health officials to sound the alarm about prevention and treatment methods.

Out of control. Certain STDs, including gonorrhea and syphilis, have seen their infection rates rise for years in the United States. In 2021, the rate of syphilis cases was at its highest level since 1991. HIV is also on the rise, with 16% more cases than last year. What worries the authorities.

“It is imperative that we […] worked to rebuild, innovate and expand STBBI prevention [Infections transmissibles sexuellement et par le sang, ndlr] in the United States,” Dr. Leandro Mena, a clinician and public health advocate and member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the United States, told a press conference on Monday.

In addition, the epidemic of monkeypox, which is mainly sexually transmitted, has put the finger on the risky behavior of Americans.

reflection on new approaches

Doctors are therefore looking into new means of prevention, such as home test kits, for certain STDs. By making it easier to notify people that they are infected, measures can be put in place earlier that would prevent the spread of disease, Dr Mena said.

According to another expert, an essential part of the effort must be made by reinforcing the use of condoms, the first means of prevention against STDs.

“It’s quite simple. More sexually transmitted infections occur when people have unprotected sex,” said Dr. Mike Saag, an infectious disease expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

concern about syphilis

Specialists are particularly interested in cases of syphilis. This bacterial disease presents in the form of genital sores that can occur several years after contamination. Different symptoms, similar to those of the flu, also occur such as fever, headaches or muscle pain.

If not detected and treated in time, this sexually transmitted disease can lead to death.

In France, the number of syphilis cases diagnosed in 2020 was around 2,500. A figure that has decreased by 18% compared to 2019.

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