The World Health Organization (WHO) set targets for a 90% reduction in the incidence of syphilis and gonorrhoea between 2018 and 2030. We review trends in sexually transmitted infections in the WHO South-East Asia Region to assess the feasibility of reaching these targets. Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand reported 90% or greater reductions in the incidence or prevalence of syphilis and/or gonorrhoea between 1975 and 2005. Evidence suggests that smaller, more recent reductions in trends in sexually transmitted infections in India have driven regional declines. In other countries, sexually transmitted infections remain high or are increasing or data are not reliable enough to measure change. Sri Lanka and Thailand have strong control programmes for sexually transmitted infections that ensure universal access to services for these infections and targeted interventions in key populations. India and Myanmar have implemented targeted control efforts on a large scale. Other countries of the region have prioritized control of human immunodeficiency virus, and limited resources are available for other sexually transmitted infections. At national and subnational levels, data show rapid declines in sexually transmitted infections when targeted promotion of condom use and sexually transmitted infection services are scaled up to reach large numbers of sex workers. In contrast, recent outbreaks of sexually transmitted infections in underserved populations of men who have sex with men have been linked to rising trends in sexually transmitted infections in the region. A renewed and focused response to sexually transmitted infections in the region is needed to meet global elimination targets.
|Translated title of the contribution||Control of sexually transmitted infections and global elimination targets, south-east asia region|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Bulletin of the World Health Organization|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Fourth, and perhaps most im portantly, countries that have ensured adequate resources for a decentralized programme within the context of access to universal health coverage have been more effective in controlling sexually transmitted infections. Having a separate and clearly articulated strategy to control sexually transmitted infections and substantial domestic investments have helped secure adequate resources. For example, the programme for the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis in Sri Lanka builds on the strong foundations of public health and primary health care services that have operated for several decades: Sri Lanka started its so-called antivenereal disease campaign in 1952, and the National sexually transmitted disease and AIDS control programme was established in 1987, with a key objective of preventing HIV and sexually transmitted infections in the community. The programme for the elimina- tion of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis is funded entirely by the Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka. Similarly, in Thailand, the National Health Security Office ensures access to syphilis screening and treatment not just for all pregnant mothers, but also for key populations. In India, a large targeted intervention programme working with key populations in the community is funded through domestic investments and has been delivered on a large scale for over 20 years.8
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