Syphilis stains on the hand of an infected patient.
Every day, more than a million sexual relationships end with one of the partners being infected with gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia or trichomoniasis. They are the four main treatable and curable sexually transmitted diseases. They form a “hidden, quiet and dangerous” epidemicdeer ”, in the words of Melanie Taylor, lead author of the 2017 study published by the World Health Organization (WHO).
And in the United States, cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) increased in the United States during the covid-19 pandemic, which led to lower the frequency of diagnostic testssaid an official report on Tuesday.
The pandemic has adopted an underlying trend of increasing STDs over the past decade, associated with lowering funding for public health, says Jonathan Merminreport by author and senior official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In 2020, cases of gonorrhea and primary and secondary syphilis were reported increased by 10% and 7%respectively, compared to 2019. Syphilis in newborns, known as congenital syphilis, has also increased, with nearly 15% more cases reported since 2019 and 235% since 2016.
Gonorrhea is becoming difficult to treat, some calling it a “hidden epidemic.”
Preliminary data referring to 2021 indicates that both primary and secondary syphilis as well as congenital syphilis will continue to rise in that year.
Ang registered chlamydia cases dropped by 13% since 2019, but experts suspect the data could be misleading because the disease is often asymptomatic and determined by tests such as regular blood tests. Pap smear.
In total, 2.4 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were reported that year. Covid-19 ”came at a very difficult time for STD control, ”Mermin told reporters in a call.
“We already have an overcrowded and weakened public health infrastructure. There are many communities in the United States that do not have specialized STD clinics. This has led to an exacerbation of trends which has already shown an increase.
“The consequences of congenital syphilis are the most serious,” he added. “This includes lifelong physical and mental health problems, miscarriage or death of the fetus“.
Reported STD cases first dropped in the early months of 2020 due to lockdowns and social distancing, but they reappeared loudly at the end of that year.
Ang factors to which the increase is attributed These include reducing the frequency of face -to -face medical care, which has translated into less screening; the migration of health workers focused on STDs to respond to the covid pandemic; the lack of laboratory equipment and STD tests; and stopped health insurance due to unemployment.
Leandro Menaanother senior CDC official, added that social and economic factors, such as poverty and insurance status, also play a role in worse STD outcomes.
More than half of STDs are detected at the age between 16 and 24 years.
Black, Hispanic, and Native American people were disproportionately affected, while 42% of primary and secondary cases of syphilis occurred in homosexual and bisexual men.
Ang public funding for local sexual health clinics has been declining for several years, and data showed that the most affected states are often less economically prosperous, such as Mississippi.