Sexual and reproductive health

Improving capacity and quality of syphilis serologic testing

Screening for syphilis accurately requires quality laboratory services. The WHO/CDC Syphilis Serology Proficiency Programme (WHO/CDC SLPP) was established several years ago in order to assess the performance and reliability of laboratory testing, in particular for low- and middle-income countries.

Increased investment in vaccines key to reducing sexually transmitted infections

Sexually transmitted infections are a massive health challenge with more than a million new infections occurring every day. Increased investment in research and development for new vaccines is key to halting the spread of genital herpes, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, syphilis, and trichomoniasis, according to a new special issue of the journal Vaccine, co-edited by WHO and the United States’ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institute of Health (NIH).

Antimicrobial resistance in gonorrhoea

World map showing the GASP network
GASP is a worldwide laboratory network

The rapidly changing antimicrobial susceptibility of Neisseria gonorrhoeae has created an important public health problem.
The Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (GASP) has documented the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in gonorrhoea since 1992 and has provided evidence to inform national, regional, and global treatment guidelines.

Eliminating congenital syphilis

Finger stick testing for syphilis in a health center of Mozambique
Finger stick testing for syphilis in Mozambique

Investing in screening and treatment for syphilis in pregnant women ranks as one of the most cost-effective antenatal interventions. Screening all pregnant women, using simple and low-cost technologies, is feasible, even in low-resource settings. Syphilis is easily cured with penicillin, and MTCT of syphilis is easily prevented when pregnant mothers with syphilis infection are identified early and treated promptly.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)