On the occasion of World Sexual Health Day, this Sunday, February 14, Hospiten specialist in Gynecology and Obstetrics, Lucyla Baêta, states that every day over a million people contract a sexually transmitted disease in the world.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, February 12 2016: The Hospiten Gynecology and Obstetrics Service, on the occasion of World Sexual Health Day, Sunday, February 14, warns of the low use of condoms among young adults and the increase in risky behavior that may lead to sexually transmitted disease, an important public health issue due to the magnitude of the problem and the complications and side effects if not diagnosed and treated in time.
Hospiten specialist, Lucyia Baêta explains that every day more that 1 million people contract an STD, amongst which are chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, genital herpes (HSV) or human papilloma virus (HPV), currently one of the most common. She adds that among the more than 30 viruses, bacteria and parasites know to be transmitted through sexual contact, eight have been linked to the highest incidences of STDs. At present four are curable (syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis) and the other four (hepatitis B, HSV, HIV and human papilloma virus) are incurable viral infections, although there are treatments that can control the symptoms or disease.
According to WHO data, STDs deeply affect sexual and reproductive health all over the world and are among the five main reasons for which adults seek medical help. “In fact, according to the statistics, every day there are more and more young victims of venereal disease. And the reason may lie in the fact that society is currently more aware of the need to take precautions to avoid unwanted pregnancy, but less careful about passing on sexually transmitted disease, which not only causes the immediate effect of the infection itself, but can also have serious consequences for one’s health”, explains Dr. Baêta.
The World Health Organization recommends sex education start at 12 years of age, or even earlier, explaining to schoolchildren in the classroom how to use contraceptive methods. Dr. Baêta states that it is necessary and may be a very positive step to introduce the subject of sexual health in schools and high schools, in addition to parents discussing the subject with their children, above all due to the ever-growing number of adolescents suffering from STDs.
“The sexual life of a person is very long, so it is vital to enjoy one’s sexuality in a healthy way, taking all possible preventive measures and undergoing regular medical check-ups to avoid and detect health problems. In fact, women especially must be aware that it is they who must protect themselves against infection. It must not be forgotten that, for instance every year HPV causes 528,000 cases of cervical-uterine cancer and 266,000 deaths. Or that gonorrhea and chlamydia are the main causes of inflammatory pelvic disease, affecting pregnancy and causing infertility”, explains the doctor.
Latest data for the Canaries
According to studies from the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology, in the last decade a slight drop in the number new HIV cases has been registered, but there has been a marked increase in other sexually transmitted diseases, like syphilis with 10.98 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the Canary Islands – the third highest rate in Spain; gonorrhea and chlamydia have also risen since 2008 with higher incidences in women than men at a national level; and hepatitis B placing the Canary Islands among the 5 autonomous regions with 1-2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
It is therefore recommended that the general public use preventive measures and be responsible for their own health, which also has an impact on the health of others.