The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for improved access to testing and diagnostic services to curb the global rise in sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
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During the covid-19 pandemic, many countries reported low coverage of STI prevention, testing and treatment services, leading to a “worldwide resurgence,” the WHO warned in a statement.
Countries with good STI surveillance, such as the US and the UK, report an increase in the number of STIs. In addition, the WHO notes that several countries are reporting “increasing numbers” of failures in current guidelines for the treatment of gonorrhea.
“There is concern about the spread of a clone of Neisseria gonorrea with high resistance to ceftriaxone in Asian countries such as China, Japan, Singapore and Vietnam, as well as in Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Ireland and the UK. “, they warned.
More than a million new sexually transmitted infections are contracted daily, posing a “major global public health problem”. However, the agency regrets that monitoring and understanding trends in new STIs in low- and middle-income countries “Hindered by limited access to diagnostic tests.”
“Early testing and diagnosis is critical to stopping the spread of STIs. If left untreated, some STIs can have irreversible long-term effects, and some can be life-threatening,” said Head of Sexually Transmitted Infections, WHO Global Division of HIV, Hepatitis. and the STI Program, Theodora Wie.
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The Agency has published new guidance including target product profiles for syphilis diagnostic technologies (treponema pallidum), Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Trichomonas vaginalis. quality diagnostic tests for STIs.
In this sense, WHO recalls that recent scientific advances in STI treatment and technology, as well as innovative service delivery, offer “an important opportunity to end STIs as a public health problem by 2030.”
However, they also acknowledge that large disparities in investment, maturity and effectiveness of STI surveillance systems between countries “remain a challenge”.
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