The Argentine Society of Child and Youth Gynecology (SAGIJ) noted that there was a “sustained increase” in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in adolescents.
One of the diseases that increased the most was syphilis, a bacterial infection that begins as a painless sore, usually on the genitals, rectum or mouth, and if not treated in time it can put a person’s health at risk.
STIs are more common than we think, and many people may be infected without knowing it. For this reason, prevention, awareness and education are pillars when it comes to curbing the advance of this type of disease. These are infections that are spread from one person to another, usually during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Given the context in which we find ourselves, it is essential to emphasize sexual education for young people, since this is the most vulnerable age group.
In 2020, the highest proportion of positive syphilis tests in Argentina corresponds to the group between 15 and 24 years old, which leads to interpreting it as a risk group. To put a stop to this, the experts recommend “strengthening the means of protection and increasing testing, a fundamental action to lower the positivity rate, since obviously many individuals are left undiagnosed.”
The SAGIJ collected the numbers from previous years and according to Bulletin No. 38 “Response to HIV and STIs in Argentina” – issued by the Directorate of Response to HIV, STIs, Viral Hepatitis and Tuberculosis, of the Ministry of Health of the Nation Argentina, 2021-, for 2020 the incidence rate of syphilis in the general population was 22.84 people per 100,000 inhabitants, with a drop of 59.3% compared to the previous year in which the incidence rate was 56.12 people per 100 thousand inhabitants. This decrease in registration could mean that there are many more cases that are not being counted.
While, in 2019, the HIV rate for both sexes was 10.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, with a rate 2.45 times higher for men than for women. 98% of new HIV cases were infected through sexual intercourse, which implies that emphasis must be placed on the use of barrier methods, whether they are condoms or latex pads for oral, vaginal or anal sex.
In the event that there were cases not officially registered, it would create problems both in the short and long term. In the first instance, if a person were asymptomatic and medical check-ups were not carried out, they could infect many more people. On the other hand, if it were a “silent” disease such as chlamydia, it could develop and only show symptoms in an advanced stage. “All forces are in place to detect them, treat them in time and prevent them from being transmitted to other people,” concluded the gynecologist.
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Worrying increase in sexually transmitted infections in adolescents | El Cordillerano Newspaper