Sexually transmitted diseases on the rise in Chile

SANTIAGO – The Ministry of Health has released its “Epidemiological Bulletin”, a national study that focuses on sexually transmitted diseases in Chile. The report shows an increase in syphilis infections in the country. Infections such as syphilis increase the chances on HIV infection up to 300 times.

In the first six months of 2018, there have been detected nearly as much infections of syphilis in Chile, as in the entire year 2010. And although health experts contribute this increase to the fact that more people are get themselves tested, they highlight the low use of condoms as another cause.

The Epidemiological Bulletin, released by the Ministry of Health, show that sexually transmitted diseases in Chile are still on the rise. A 2017 report from UNAids showed that in that same year 6000 people got infected, whilst in the first five months of 2018 already 7000 cases were reported. The total amount of Chilens carrying HIV is estimated on 100.000.

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Increase in syphilis infections

There is a strong link with the increase in other sexual transmitted infections. An infection such as syphilis increases the chances on HIV infection up to 300 times, and during the first six months of 2018 there were already 3003 new cases detected, 6 percent more than in 2017 during the same period.

65 percent of those carrying syphilis in Chile are male, and in 82 percent of the cases people carrying syphilis are between 15 and 49 years old.  In Tarapacá, Antofagasta, O’Higgins and Metropolitana, the highest rates were recorded. It calls for an intensive campaign, according to health experts.

Many can carry the STD without knowing it. When detecting the disease in a stage, the infection can be deadly. And if not directly, the STD can lead indirectly to death as there are high chances on getting infected with HIV. In Chile, since 2010, AIDS-related deaths have increased by 34 percent.

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