- WHO reports that more than 1 million new curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in people ages 15-49 years occur daily.
- This translates into 357 million new cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and syphilis annually.
Why this matters
- Proactive sexual health education and history-taking, coupled with early diagnosis and treatment, are critical to improve overall STI burden.
- WHO now recommends systematic syphilis and HIV screening in pregnant women; syphilis alone caused ~200,000 stillbirths, newborn deaths in 2016.
- Reduction of HIV lags behind Healthy People 2020 targets; clinicians should encourage routine HIV screening among at-risk patients, preexposure prophylaxis uptake, and timely treatment.
- Overall, HIV, viral hepatitis, and STIs are associated with 2.8 million deaths annually.
- HIV acquisitions have declined but not rapidly enough; HIV prevention is insufficient.
- Significantly increased testing for hepatitis B and C is needed to reduce exceptionally high mortality rates.
- In the Americas specifically, 27/33 countries have adopted WHO’s "treat all" HIV antiretroviral therapy recommendations; 61% have included dolutegravir in guidelines.
- Treatment coverage for syphilis among pregnant women increased to ~90% (2016-2017).
- 15 countries have implemented national hepatitis action plans; US key actions include reducing new infections, deaths and health disparities, and regular surveillance.