Prelims level : International Mains level : GS-II Governance, Social Justice and IR
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Why in News:

  • The World Health Organization’s latest report reveals that more than a million new cases
    of curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are detected in people aged 15-49 years every day.

More in News:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) came out with this finding in a new report on four sexually transmitted infections’ (STIs) burden (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis and syphilis) in 2016.

Important Findings:

  • The total estimated burden in the year was 376.4 million. There were 127 million new cases of chlamydia, 87 million cases of gonorrhoea, 6.3 million of syphilis and 156 million of trichomoniasis. Chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhoeaare bacterial infections spread through vaginal, anal or oral sex. And trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite called Trichomonasvaginalis. On an average, one in every 25 people in the world has at least one of these infections and some have more than one. And there is no subsequent decline in the condition since the last research in 2012.
  • Approximately 13.5 per cent (50.8 million) of these infections occurred in low-income countries, 31.4 per cent (118.1 million) in lower middle-income countries, 47.1 per cent (177.3million) in upper middle-income countries and 8 per cent (30.1 million) in high- income nations, according to the report.
  • The research also showed that the prevalence of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and trichomoniasis increased more in women than men.

Sexually Transmitted Infection:

  • STIs spread through unprotected sexual contact and can also be transmitted during pregnancy and child born or in case of syphilis, through contact with infected blood.
  • These STIs have a profound impact on the health of adults and children worldwide. If untreated, they can lead to serious and chronic health effects that include neurological and cardiovascular disease.
  • If untreated, STIs can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirths, and increased risk of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
  • According to an estimation mentioned in the WHO report, syphilis caused two lakh stillbirth and new born deaths in 2016.
  • They are also associated with significant levels of stigma and domestic violence.
  • All bacterial STIs can be treated and cured with widely available medication. The World Health Assembly in 2016 aims to take necessary steps to end STIs as public health concern by 2030.


  • Timely and affordable testing and treatment are crucial for reducing the burden of STIs globally, alongside efforts to encourage people who are sexually active to get screened for STIs. The WHO further recommends that pregnant women should be systematically screened for syphilis as well as HIV.
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