Health authorities in the Argentine province of Mendoza have voiced their concern over an increase in the number of cases of syphilis, at a time Covid-19 is waning down, thus allowing professionals to focus on other diseases.
During the last Federal Health Council (COFESA) meeting, Health Ministers from all 24 districts in the country (23 provinces + the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, CABA) strategies were outlined to address chronic non-communicable diseases and communicable diseases, which had been overlooked for the past two years.
Although HIV cases have decreased in the province, Health Minister Ana María Nadal stressed that in recent months there has been an increase in the number of people suffering from syphilis.
The increase is around 3% and it is very worrying considering that this percentage is only of diagnosed cases, she added.
We have a public health challenge, we cannot go back to having diseases that with prevention measures can be reduced. That is why our policies are very much oriented towards active search, that is why HIV testing centers are necessary, she went on.
Nadal also pointed out there was an increase in cases of gonorrhea and that the actions undertaken by the province are aimed at the active search for patients from testing centers and clinics, paying special attention to what is known as vertical transmission, which is the transmission from mother to child.
We must raise awareness that sexual practices must be safe, with the use of condoms in all cases,” she also said.
Mendoza ranks above average in HIV and STI detections in Argentina, according to federal Health Ministry figures from December of 2021.
The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) explains that syphilis can be contracted through direct contact with a syphilis sore during anal, vaginal, or oral sex. Sores can be found on the penis, vagina, anus, rectum, or lips and mouth. Syphilis can also be spread from an infected mother to her unborn baby.