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WHO study finds sexually transmitted infections are spread to 1 million every day

The headquarters of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, is seen Monday, April 8, 2019. (Jamey Keaten / Associated Press)
The headquarters of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, is seen Monday, April 8, 2019. (Jamey Keaten / Associated Press)
By Alex Tanzi Bloomberg

More than 1 million people worldwide are infected daily by sexually transmitted infections chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and syphilis, according to World Health Organization estimates.

“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,” WHO official Dr. Peter Salama said.

A study published online Thursday found more than 376 million new cases of the four infections in 2016. By infection, there were 127 million new cases of chlamydia, 87 million of gonorrhoea, 6.3 million of syphilis and 156 million of trichomoniasis.

An estimated 1 in 25 carry at least one of the infections, which left untreated can cause neurological and cardiovascular disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirths and an increased risk of HIV. Some people experience multiple infections at the same time.

The data covering 2016 track men and women ages 15-49 and “since the last published data for 2012, there has been no substantive decline in either the rates of new or existing infections,” WHO said.

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