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Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases
The editors of the Public Library of Science journal PloS Medicine called on religious and political leaders to work harder in the fight for safer sex practices and the reduction of STDs in an editorial this week.
"Although narrowly focused political and religious perspectives have in the past hampered policy making to improve sexual health," they write, "today's politicians and religious leaders must redouble their leadership in tackling these problems, precisely because they occur at the intersection of health, culture, religion and politics."
The editors noted some sobering stats on the burden of STDs. The World Health Organization estimated that in 1999 there were 340 million new cases of curable sexually transmitted diseases in men and women aged 1549 years. Industrialized countries like the U.S. are hardly immune: there are 19 million new cases of STDs each year in the U.S. according to the CDC, which estimates STDs cost the U.S. healthcare system $15.9 billion annually.
STD testing, prevention and education are the most effective solutions known, supplemented by medical research, according to the authors.
"It is time to realign research and policy making to promote better sexual health for all," they write.
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