Sexual and reproductive health

New estimates highlight need for the antibiotic that can cure maternal and congenital syphilis across world

19 July 2016: Pregnant women who have been diagnosed with syphilis can be cured with an injection of benzathine penicillin, a type of antibiotic which can kill the bacteria and which can also prevent mother-to-child transmission of this infection (congenital syphilis). Newly published evidence shows however, that shortages of benzathine penicillin have been reported by countries where there is high number of pregnant women and infants infected with syphilis.

Mother-to-child transmission of syphilis decreasing but mortality and morbidity remain high

19 July 2016: Syphilis is a bacterial infection caused by the spirochete Treponema pallidum, and can be transmitted sexually or from mother to child during pregnancy. Left untreated, syphilis can lead to catastrophic fetal outcomes in the second or third trimesters of pregnancy. New 2012 estimates, based on 2008-2012 data, are now available, published in an open access Lancet article. The findings show that in 2012, an estimated 930 000 maternal syphilis infections caused 350 000 adverse pregnancy outcomes including 143 000 early fetal deaths and stillbirths, 62 000 neonatal deaths, 44 000 preterm or low weight births, and 102 000 infected infants worldwide.

WHO validates elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis in Thailand, Armenia, Belarus and the Republic of Moldova

8 June 2016 -- The World Health Organization congratulates Thailand and Belarus for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of both HIV and syphilis. WHO also applauds Armenia and the Republic of Moldova for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and syphilis, respectively

Global estimates shed light on toll of sexually transmitted infections

World map showing the WHO global estimates of curable STIs
WHO estimates: 357 million new cases of curable sexually transmitted infections in 2012.

08 December 2015: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have a profound impact on sexual and reproductive health worldwide, and continue to cause a major burden of disease. Global estimates, published in the journal PLOS ONE today, show that an estimated 357 million new infections occur every year with one of 4 STIs: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)