The three sexually transmitted infections (STIs) caused by bacteria – gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia – have increased in recent times, and experts warn of the risks to our health to bypass the rules of prevention. If a person suspects that they may have acquired one, it is essential to go to a specialist as soon as possible to undergo the relevant tests, since early diagnosis and early treatment are very important to cure them.
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), some 357 million people are infected each year with gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis or chlamydia, which are spread mainly through sexual contact, whether vaginal, anal or oral. Among the more than thirty viruses, bacteria and parasites that are transmitted in sexual exchanges, eight are related to infections. Four are curable – syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis – while the others – hepatitis B, herpes simplex virus, HIV and human papilloma virus – are not, but are controlled with treatment.
The antibiotics Left alone those caused by bacteria, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis infection. However, due to the undue or excessive use of these drugs, some are losing their effectiveness. Of the three bacterial infections, gonorrhea is the most resistant to antibiotics. In fact, strains of the gonococcus Neisseria gonorrhoeae – the bacteria that causes this infection – have been detected that do not react with any of the current drugs. “Bacteria resistant to antibiotics can pose a serious public health problem. In fact, it is starting to be, “warns Francisco Botía Martínez, president of the Spanish Society of Preventive Medicine, Public Health and Hygiene.
Between 2008 and 2014, the rate of gonorrhea infections in Europe went from eight cases per hundred thousand people to twenty, more than double. According to data from the European Center for the Prevention and Control of Diseases (ECDC), in 2014 66,413 cases were reported in twenty-seven countries of the continent -including Spain-, representing an increase of 25% over the previous year. Most infections were diagnosed in young people between 15 and 34 years old and almost half were men who had sex with other men.
Chlamydia is above chlamydia, with about 400,000 cases registered in 2014 and a rate of 187 infections per hundred thousand Europeans. In this infection, the incidence is higher in women. As for syphilis, 24,541 cases were recorded in that year, with rates six times higher among men.
The reasons for this increase
“The increase in sexually transmitted infections has multiple causes that must be addressed in a joint way: the loss of fear of HIV and other STIs, the use of mobile applications that facilitate sexual contacts and the increase in the consumption of alcohol and recreational drugs. that diminish the perception of risk”, lists Teresa Puerta, coordinator of the Spanish Group for the Investigation of STD / AIDS of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.
The dermatologist, who works at the Sandoval Health Center – the leading public monographic organization in Spain for the diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases – recalls that both gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia are notifiable diseases – doctors must notify them when corresponding public health center- and the data are included in the National Network of Epidemiological Surveillance (RENAVE).
Of these three infections, the most common in our country is not chlamydia, but gonorrhea– in 88% of cases, it affects males. Syphilis ranks second, with 3,886 patients, especially men and chlamydia closes the list with 3,563 infections, mostly in women.