Sexually Transmitted Diseases on the rise

Switzerland says sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have been on the rise in recent years despite efforts by the government to reduce this scourge by half in 2017.

Gonorrhea and syphilis are said to be the most common infections in the European country.

A report from Swiss Info says lack of health equipment for accurate diagnosis, and ignorance are part of the factors working against government’s efforts.

Health experts in the country said on Friday that embarking on mass sensitization project is the only way to get people to report such unfamiliar cases.

The Swiss health ministry confirms that year 2016 recorded about 2,500 cases of gonorrhea – a 25% increase from the 2015 stat.

According to the report, syphilis cases skyrocketed to 1,176 in the year 2016, an alarming 11.5% increase compared to the previous year.

Chlamydia, one of the most common sexually transmitted infections(STIs) in Switzerland and Europe, rose by 8.5% with a total 11,000 sufferers.

The government vowed in 2011 that it will cut down STIs by half in 2017, but the current records show that citizens also have a responsibility to protect themselves and their partners.

The situation did not change much for people with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, with 556 new cases reported in 2016, compared with 552 a year earlier.

Those diagnosed with HIV typically run up health insurance costs of CHF1 million ($1 million) over a lifetime, Swiss health authorities say.

The health office said that the rise in the number of cases involving STIs is in part due to better quality tests and awareness campaigns among doctors.

Since 2011, the government’s Love Life campaign has been targeting the public with its messages about safer sex and awareness of the symptoms of STIs.

The Love Life campaign continued this year, supported with around CHF2 million annually in funding.

However, its sometimes-explicit posters have caused controversy. In June 2016, the Federal Court said it would rule on a Christian group’s appeal claiming the government’s 2014 campaign went too far.

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