Curable sexually transmitted infections: can we control them and reduce their prevalence?

Sexually transmitted infections are on the rise. In a new special series, we look at curable sexually transmitted diseases and how they should be treated.

In 2008, the WHO reported that 499 million people caught a curable sexually transmitted infection in that year. This is up by approximately 111% from the 2005 estimate. These infections include Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, syphilis and Trichomonas vaginalis.

Sexually transmitted infections are clearly on the rise, and can affect all of those who are sexually active, especially adolescents. Even some of the curable infections are starting to show resistance to drug treatment and some strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae show resistance to ceftriaxone, a third-generation antibiotic which is used to treat organisms that are resistant to most other antibiotics.

Infections such as syphilis and Trichomonas vaginalis can lead to increased susceptibility to HIV and pathological conditions resulting from the disease. Many STIs can be transmitted from the pregnant mother to her unborn child. The WHO state “Less than 50% of antenatal care attendees are tested for syphilis in 61 countries. It is estimated that worldwide up to 4000 newborn babies become blind every year because of eye infections attributable to untreated maternal chlamydial and gonococcal infections.”

A new article series on sexually transmitted infection challenges published in BMC Infectious Diseases highlights the current opinion on the management of Neisseria gonorrhoeaeChlamydia trachomatisMycoplasma genitalium, non-gonococcal urethris, bacterial vaginosis, syphilis and Trichomonas vaginalis. The series commissioners Sepehr Tabrizi and Marcus Chen have assembled a collection of state-of-the-art reviews that capture the latest evidence and opinions on where future treatment efforts should be placed.

Click here to read the series!

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