Nevin Manimala Statistics

Rebound in sexually transmitted infections after the COVID-19 pandemic

AIDS Rev. 2023;26(3):127-135. doi: 10.24875/AIDSRev.23000015.


Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have become the second in the global rating of infectious diseases after respiratory infections. Globally, over 1 million, new STI is diagnosed every day. Although four conditions are the most representative and of obligatory declaration (gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]), there are many other prevalent STI, including trichomona, herpes simplex, papillomavirus, and viral hepatitis. Herein, we perform a narrative and retrospective review, analyzing information from public databases from distinct Spanish government institutions. STI significantly declined in Spain during 2020 as a result of lockdown and social isolation measures dictated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After releasing restrictions, a major STI rebound occurred in 2021. Increases were 49% for gonorrhea, 45% for HIV, 39% for chlamydia, and 32% for syphilis. Based on nationwide statistics, we build a narrative review of the recent STI surge after COVID-19. In summary, we propose a holistic approach to confront the current re-emergence of STI. On one hand, new innovative medical advances must be implemented, including new rapid tests, novel vaccines, pre-exposure prophylaxis beyond HIV, and long-acting antivirals. On the other hand, information to citizens needs to be reformulated with interventions aimed to build a healthier society, alike it has been undertaken with tobacco, alcohol, diet, and lifestyle. STI determines important sexual, reproductive, and maternal-child health consequences. To promote human well-being or flourishing, the education of adolescents and young adults should be aligned with human ecology. Therefore, it is urgent to address new approaches in sexual health that represent a clear benefit for individual persons and society. In this way, favoring a cultural evolution aimed to delay the age of first sexual intercourse and the avoidance of multiple sex partners should be prioritized.

PMID:37879632 | DOI:10.24875/AIDSRev.23000015

By Nevin Manimala

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