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Found 6 results
  1. News Article
    Sharply rising cases of some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including a 26% rise in new syphilis infections reported last year, are prompting US health officials to call for new prevention and treatment efforts. “It is imperative that we ... work to rebuild, innovate, and expand (STD) prevention in the US,” said Leandro Mena of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a speech on Monday at a medical conference on sexually transmitted diseases. Infections rates for some STDs, including gonorrhoea and syphilis, have been rising for years in the US. Last year the rate of syphilis cases reached its highest since 1991 and the total number of cases hit its highest since 1948. HIV cases are also on the rise, up 16% last year. An international outbreak of monkeypox has further highlighted the nation’s worsening problem with diseases spread mostly through sex. David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, called the situation “out of control”. Officials are working on new approaches to the problem, such as home-test kits for some STDs that will make it easier for people to learn they are infected and to take steps to prevent spreading it to others, Mena said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 20 September 2022
  2. News Article
    The prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and deaths from drug overdoses increased in the US over the past two years, showing the pandemic’s effect on public health. “Even in the face of a pandemic, 2.4 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis were reported,” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. STDs declined during the early months of the pandemic in 2020 but then increased rapidly. Cases of gonorrhoea increased by 10% during 2020 compared with 2019. Cases of primary and secondary syphilis increased by 7% and congenital syphilis in newborns increased by 13%.2 New data suggest that primary and secondary syphilis—the most infectious stages of the disease—continued to increase during 2021, the CDC said. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s national centre for HIV, viral hepatitis, STD, and tuberculosis prevention, said, “The unrelenting momentum of the STD epidemic continued even as prevention services were disrupted.” His colleague, Leandro Mena, director of CDC’s division of STD prevention, said, “The pandemic increased awareness of a reality we’ve long known about STDs. Social and economic factors—such as poverty and health insurance status—create barriers, increase health risks, and often result in worse health outcomes for some people.” Another disturbing trend during the pandemic has been the increase of deaths from drug overdoses, especially among teenagers. Just over 100 000 Americans died of drug overdoses during the year to April 2021, according to the CDC’s national centre for health statistics—an increase of 28.5% from the previous year. Read full story Source: BMJ, 19 August 2022
  3. News Article
    Patients are being put at risk in the UK because very few sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests offered online meet official standards, experts have warned. The NHS provides free in-person tests for STIs via its network of sexual health and genitourinary medicine clinics. Patients can also order tests via the internet from both NHS-commissioned and private providers, a practice that has become increasingly popular during the pandemic. However, new research in the Sexually Transmitted Infections journal published by the BMJ found that few online STI test services meet national recommended standards, with independent sector providers the least likely to be compliant. Online tests involve the user ordering a kit and either self-sampling by posting the specimen for laboratory analysis, or self-testing by interpreting the test themselves. The research found that the commercial self-sample providers, which advertised to those with symptoms, did not differentiate by STI symptom severity, and eight – seven private and one NHS-commissioned provider – offered no advice on accessing preventive treatment after exposure to HIV as recommended. Self-test providers did not appear to offer any form of order of treatment for patients and five offered tests that were intended for professional use only. The research concluded: “Regulatory change is required to ensure that the standard of care received online meets national guidelines to protect patients and the wider population from the repercussions of underperforming or inappropriate tests." “If we do not act now, patients will continue to receive suboptimal care with potentially significant adverse personal, clinical and public health implications.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 12 April 2022
  4. News Article
    People living with HIV in England and Wales can now choose to have their Covid vaccine through specialist clinics, without notifying their GP. NHS England has updated its guidance for people not comfortable with sharing their status. Everyone with HIV should be in vaccine priority groups four or six, and offered a jab by mid-April at the latest. But campaigners worried stigma would cause some to miss out. The updated guidance, obtained by the i newspaper, follows the lead of NHS Wales which put the same measures in place last week. Head of leading HIV charity the Terrence Higgins Trust, Ian Green, said: "Some may be surprised to hear that a significant number of people living with HIV feel unable to talk to their GP about their HIV status, but this underlines how much stigma still surrounds the virus even in 2021." "This is great news and the right decision from the NHS as it means people living with HIV will be able to take up the potentially life-saving Covid-19 vaccine at their earliest opportunity. We are working towards a society where everyone living with HIV feels comfortable sharing their status with their doctor and other health professionals, but we're not there yet and we welcome this fast, pragmatic action." Read full story Source: BBC News, 22 February 2021
  5. News Article
    The failure to address the mental-health needs of people with HIV could lead to an increase in infections, a cross-party group of MPs suggests. People with HIV are twice as likely to experience mental-health difficulties. However, in those with depression, support raises adherence to medication by 83%. But most HIV clinics have no mental-health professionals on staff, which, the MPs say, could be reversing progress made over the past decade toward ending the epidemic in the UK. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on HIV and AIDS met with patients living with HIV at a range of hospital trusts throughout England, as well as numerous healthcare professionals. Unless serious mental-health treatment shortfalls are addressed, the government will fail to achieve its target of zero transmissions by 2030, its report says. Read full story Source: BBC News, 5 March 2020
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