Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are increasing in the world. They are creating more and more concern among professionals who see the numbers rise and also because new pathologies began to emerge.
An article published by the BBC examined four bacteria that "could become serious threats to public health." But consulted by Clarín, one of the top local referents lowers the excitement of what might happen in our country.
For Omar Sued, a specialist in infectious diseases and clinical research director for the Huésped Foundation, "the dramatic thing in Argentina is that we do not have a health system that identifies and records sexually transmitted diseases."
There are four new diseases that have healthcare professionals excited.
1) lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)
As published by the BBC, this disease can cause a "terrible infection". You can start producing a temporary pimple, blister or genitals and then invade the body's lymphatic system.
Over the last decade, it became more common in Europe and North America, and it was associated with several outbreaks of disease. In addition, it can increase the risk of contracting HIV.
In Argentina last year, an epidemiological alarm from the Ministry of Health reported the appearance of LGV cases for the first time. They confirmed 33 cases between September 2017 and July 2018, the majority in Buenos Aires.
"You have to be aware because in the country it's circulating," Sued explains. He adds that he appears – especially in gay men – as a neck injury. Therefore, if they have anal discomfort, they should be controlled by a procologist.
- Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus)
The BBC reports that between 5% and 10% of adult humans carry Neisseria meningitidis in the back of their nose and throat. There were outbreaks of invasive forms of the disease in Europe, Canada and the United States. It can be transmitted through oral sex, deep kissing or other types of intimate contacts.
"It's the bacteria that cause meningitis. Very rarely can it be transmitted sexually between closed groups. In the US, there has been an outbreak among gay men," says Sued.
"In Argentina, we have seen cases, but it has not really been a problem. It is a disease reported and there were some campaigns," the specialist continues.
- Mycoplasma genitalium
It is one of the smallest bacteria known. The BBC claims it infects between 1% and 2% of the population and is particularly common in young and young adults. It can trigger a pelvic inflammatory disease in the female reproductive system, so it is associated with infertility, abortion, premature birth and stillbirth.
"There is a single study four years ago, in Malbrán, which found a 3% incidence," says Sued. That is, they have 3 out of 100 Argentines.
"It is among the normal numbers found in all countries. But in Argentina there is no medical office, where to make this diagnosis or for treatment. Today, if you are young and you want to know if you have it or not, you have no place to go, "says Sued, pointing out that in the city it is only done in Hospital de Clínicas.
- Shigella flexneri (or Shigella dysentery)
It is transmitted by direct or indirect contact with human feces. The infection causes severe stomach cramps and bloody diarrhea. "Scientists believe shigella flexneri basically took advantage of a new niche for transmission via anal sex, and since then it has led to more outbreaks around the world," the BBC reports.
"It is a bacterium that is in the stool. It is not a disease of transmission itself. In couples having anal sex, it can cause bloody diarrhea," said the expert of the Huésped Foundation. "It hasn't been a problem in Argentina. It can be seen occasionally, like any pathogen that is in fecal matter. It's not warning," he clarifies.