According to the AFP, the World Health Organization (WHO) is expressing alarm over the lack of progress in curbing the rampant spread of sexually transmitted diseases worldwide since 2012.
“WHO found that there were more than 376 million new cases of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis and syphilis registered around the world in 2016 -- the latest year for which data is available,” the AFP reports. “That is basically the same number as WHO reported in its previous study, based on data from 2012.”
The WHO, which promotes comprehensive sex education and condom distribution rather than abstinence as a way to fight this epidemic, now blames the continued spread of these infections on dating apps and a more complacent attitude about the spread of HIV because of new antiviral drugs that have proven to be very effective.
People are "more complacent about protection," said Teodora Wi, a WHO expert on STIs, which she believes is dangerous because this attitude is coming at a time when "sex is becoming more accessible (through things like) dating apps".
Peter Salama, WHO's executive director of Universal Health Coverage, expressed concern over the “lack of progress” in stemming the tide of these diseases and infections, and called the latest numbers to be a “wake-up call” for authorities.
The numbers are indeed grave. In 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, an estimated 127 million people between the ages of 15 and 49 were infected with chlamydia. Another 87 million contracted gonorrheoea, and 6.3 million contracted syphilis. In addition, 156 million were infected with trichomoniasis, a parasital disease commonly called “trich.”
This amounts to one in 25 people globally that have at least one of these STIs.
What makes these diseases so difficult to prevent through mere comprehensive sex education and condom distribution campaigns is because some have no early symptoms. This means people who are engaging in casual sex unwittingly spread the diseases which, if left untreated, can lead to serious conditions. These include infertility, stillbirth, neurological and cardiovascular disease, as well as increased risk of contracting HIV.
The only real way to stop the spread of STIs and STDs is to promote abstinence until marriage, but the WHO is once again choosing to follow the same failed path by recommending regular screening and the proper use of condoms. They tend to promote comprehensive sexual education, which supposedly contains abstinence-only material, but analyses of these programs finds that only a small percentage of the content is actually devoted to authentic abstinence education.
How many more young lives will be ruined before officials at the World Health Organization hear this “wake-up call” for what it is – a call to admit that their strategies are failing and the time has come to challenge youth to live chastely until marriage?
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