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There Are 1 Million New STI Cases Every Day

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed there are one million new cases of curable sexually transmitted diseases diagnosed every day around the world.

Research by WHO found that there were 376 million new cases of four infections -- chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and syphilis --  in people aged 15-39 in 2016.

Chlamydia was the most prevalent of the diseases with 127 million new cases, followed 87 million cases of gonorrhoea, 6.3 million of syphilis and 156 million of trichomoniasis.

The results mean that on average, approximately one in 25 people have at least one of these STIs, some suffering from multiple at the same time.

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The WHO African region has the highest number of STIs in the world, accounting for 28.6 percent of infections.

Men in the African region are the highest sufferers of chlamydia, making up four percent of all STI cases. Women in the Americas top the list for chlamydia at seven percent.

WHO does not provide individual numbers for Australia as it falls into WHO's Western Pacific region, which includes 36 other countries.

The last collection of numbers by WHO into these STIs was in 2012, and the numbers suggest there has not been a "substantive decline in either the rates of new or existing infections".

“We’re seeing a concerning lack of progress in stopping the spread of sexually transmitted infections worldwide,” said Dr Peter Salama, Executive Director for Universal Health Coverage and the Life-Course at WHO.

Image: World Health Organisation

“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 warns STIs can have a continued impact on health if untreated, including neurological and cardiovascular disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirths, and increased risk of HIV.

In 2016, syphilis was one of the leading causes of baby loss globally, resulting in an estimate 200,000 stillbirths and newborn deaths.

Contact the author jdunne@networkten.com.au