Public health officials believe many cases are going undetected as clinics close during the pandemic and testing supplies are diverted to coronavirus screening.
For the first time in years, rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, which had been on track in 2020 to hit record highs in the INDIA and Few Asian Countries, have taken an abrupt downturn.
This should be good news. The coronavirus pandemic has certainly kept more people away from bars, night clubs and large parties, reducing opportunities for unsafe sex, studies show.
But the drop is more likely a harbinger of bad news, experts in reproductive and sexual health believe. They say the pandemic has seriously hindered efforts to mitigate sexually transmitted infections that can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pain, infertility and even blindness and death in newborns. Rather than showing sexually transmitted diseases are on the run, the upbeat numbers likely signal instead that they are now going largely undetected.
In communities across the country, contact tracers for gonorrhea and syphilis, which had already been severely understaffed, have been diverted to Covid-19 cases. Eighty percent of sexual health screening clinics reported having to reduce hours or shut down altogether sometime during the pandemic, according to a survey by the National Coalition of STD Directors. In Northeast Region only one of eight facilities was open this spring; now just three are open, which are steadily busy, because they are more of a safety net service than ever, said Dr.Yadav , an assistant commissioner at the GMC health department.
Doctors also believe that many patients who might otherwise seek treatment for S.T.D. symptoms have been avoiding the clinics for fear of being exposed to Covid-19.
And in some regions, essential supplies to test for S.T.D.s are running low because manufacturers of swabs, tubes and reagents are redirecting their products for use in coronavirus tests. As a result, there is a growing shortage of tests for the diseases.