Health | Sexually transmitted diseases grow by 84% in five years in Spain
Although the focus is on covid or monkeypox, the truth is that the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases does not stop increasing. The data published this Thursday by the technology company specialized in health Cegedim show that in the last five years (from 2016 to 2021) ailments such as HIV, chlamydia or gonorrhea have grown by 84% in Spain, especially among men, who double the diagnoses of women. The latest official data, from the Ministry of Health, corresponding to 2019 already indicated that boom of sexually transmitted diseases, which has not slowed down in recent years.
To tackle this problem, the bill to reform the abortion lawwhich the Council of Ministers approved on Tuesday for submission to the Cortes, incorporates two fundamental measures: education and free distribution of condoms in institutes, prisons and social services centers. As the Minister for Equality, Irene Montero, argued in the press conference after the Council, “the lack of sexual education in schools is what is causing the increase in sexually transmitted infections, by 70%, by 80 %, sometimes by 150%”.
And it is that the studies indicate, as the minister also recalled, that almost 70% of high school students confess that sexual education that they have received, that until now has not been regulated and has depended on the will of the management team or the teaching staff, has not been useful for their sexual life and that the internet or friends are their main sources of information.
Given this, the reform of the sexual and reproductive health law states that “they will regular campaigns aimed at the prevention of sexually transmitted infections”. In addition, it indicates that the affective-sexual education will be part “of the curriculum throughout the compulsory stage”, as has already been established by the recent educational reform, the so-called ‘Celaá law’ and that will be distributed methods contraceptives barrier in social services centers, prisons and institutesprecisely during sex education campaigns carried out by schools.
According to experts, reasons of the exponential growth of sexually transmitted diseases are varied. On the one hand, there is the sexual liberation and the multitude of sporadic sexual encounters that occur today. Secondly, the fear of HIV infection has been lost because this disease is no longer a death sentence. And it also adds that now the system detects this type of disease more and better, although there is still a long way to go because, sometimes, they are asymptomatic.
The data published this Thursday by Cegedim indicate that from 2016 to 2021 the infections of HIV140% the chlamydia71% gonococcal infections (gonorrhea) and 59% herpes genital. The only sexual diseases that experienced a decrease are hepatitis B, C and D.
And of the total diagnosticsHIV represents 42%, hepatitis 26%, genital herpes 14% and syphilis 8%, although with a large difference between sexes. The human papilloma virus (85%), genital herpes (63%) or chlamydia (59%) is more detected in them; while syphilis (80%), HIV (76%), gonococcal infections (72%) or hepatitis B, C and D (62%) are more frequent in males.
As for the agesChlamydia is mostly diagnosed around the age of 32, followed by human papillomavirus and gonococcal diseases with a mean age of 36 and 37 years, respectively. Already in the quarantine, the appearance of syphilis (45 years) or HIV (48 years) is more frequent. Finally, the diagnosis of the group of hepatitis B, C and D usually occurs around 54 years of age.