Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are an important problem for Public Health, as they can have major effects both on the general health of individuals, as well as on their reproductive, sexual and mental health.

According to the WHO, it is estimated that around 1 million people are infected with an STD every day, the majority of whom are asymptomatic.

It is estimated that more than 500 million people have developed genital herpes, while HPV infection is linked to more than 311,000 cervical cancer deaths annually.

More than 30 different bacteria, viruses and parasites are sexually transmitted (vaginal, anal or oral contact) and some can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding. The 4 most common STIs include gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia and trichomonas infections, for which there is appropriate medication and can be completely cured.

In recent years, a significant increase in STDs has been observed both at the global and European level, as well as in our country, reports EODY. Based on data from the CDC in the USA in the period 2017-2021 there was an overall increase in STDs of the order of 7%. In particular, syphilis cases increased by 28.6% and gonorrhea cases by 4.6%, during the two years 2020-2021. According to the data obtained from the corresponding reports of the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) for 2021, based on which a significant increase in syphilis and gonorrhea cases is observed, of the order of 7 and 13.7 new diagnoses per 100,000 population, respectively.

In our country, as reflected by the Annual Epidemiological Reports of the STD Department of the EODY, in the period 2020-2022, an increase of 113.36% has been recorded for cases of early syphilis and of 120.73% for cases of gonorrhea.

Specifically, in the year 2022, 8.26 new syphilis diagnoses per 100,000 population and 3.45 new gonorrhea diagnoses per 100,000 population were recorded.

Regarding syphilis, 93.04% of the cases were men, aged mainly between 25-64 years and in 72.16% the mode of transmission involved sexual contacts between men and other men. For gonorrhea, 95.86% of cases were also men, aged mainly between 25-44 years, while the mode of transmission seems to be divided between men having sex with other men (47.24%) and with women (46, 41%).

Syphilis and gonorrhea are reliable indicators of the trend and other STDs, as well as the sexual attitudes of the population.

It seems, therefore, that high-risk sexual behaviors are multiplying and concern an ever wider part of the general population. This makes STDs a priority for ensuring Public Health and the imperative to control spread and prevent transmission.