Sexually Transmitted Infections on the Rise Globally, WHO Warns

The World Health Organization (WHO) sounded the alarm on the global surge of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including syphilis, with new cases surpassing eight million among adults aged 15-49, and 230,000 resulting in syphilis-related deaths.

The Americas and Africa experienced the highest increases. The rise in STIs, coupled with inadequate declines in new HIV and viral hepatitis infections, poses a significant threat to health targets within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed grave concerns over the escalating incidence of syphilis, emphasizing the urgent need for action.

The report also highlighted challenges such as multi-resistant gonorrhea and the persistence of hepatitis and HIV infections. Despite these challenges, WHO noted progress in expanding services for STIs, HIV, and hepatitis, with Namibia poised to become the first country evaluated for the triple elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, hepatitis B, and syphilis.


A dual HIV/syphilis rapid diagnostic test is used on a pregnant woman.

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