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One million people are diagnosed with an STI every day, according to WHO

Published Jun 6th, 2019 11:07PM EDT
sti infection stats
Image: Keystone-SDA/Shutterstock

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Hearing that you’ve contracted a sexually transmitted infection is obviously not great news, but it’s a reality for up to a million people every single day. A new report from the World Health Organization emphasizes the insanely high rate of new STI diagnoses while urging sexually active individuals to put their health and the wellbeing of their partners first.

The research paints a dire picture for sexual health advocates, using the most recent data available to show that the top four sexual transmitted infections are claiming an incredible number of victims, and the trend is troubling.

According to the report, which includes 2016 health statistics for men and women between the ages of 15 and 49, some 127 million new cases of chlamydia were recorded in just a single calendar year. That’s on top of 87 million cases of gonorrhea, over 6 million cases of syphilis, and 156 million cases of trichomoniasis.

“We’re seeing a concerning lack of progress in stopping the spread of sexually transmitted infections worldwide,” said Dr. Peter Salama of the World Health Organization said in a statement. “This is a wake-up call for a concerted effort to ensure everyone, everywhere can access the services they need to prevent and treat these debilitating diseases.”

What’s particularly troubling about the data is that it shows that sexually transmitted infections are not trending downward but remaining relatively level. The previous most recent report from four years prior shows roughly the same numbers, with approximately 1 out of every 25 people being diagnosed with at least one of the four most common curable STIs.

The single positive piece of news about all this is that these diseases, which are the four most common, are indeed curable. That’s perhaps a little comfort for someone who receives a positive diagnosis, but until the overall trends change that might be the only good news.