Sexual and reproductive health

Substantial number of genital herpes infections caused by herpes simplex virus type 1

28th October 2015: Approximately two-thirds of the population under age 50 are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which commonly causes orolabial herpes (‘cold sores’) and which can also cause genital herpes. In the first WHO global and regional estimates of the burden of HSV-1 infection ever published, the authors state that around 3.7 billion people under age 50 are infected with the virus.

WHO validates elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis in Cuba

Cuba. Pregnant women in the waiting room of an antenatal clinic.

30 June 2015 - Washington DC-Geneva - Cuba today became the first country in the world to receive validation from the World Health Organization that it has eliminated mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis. “Eliminating transmission of a virus is one of the greatest public health achievements possible. This is a major victory in our long fight against HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and an important step towards having an AIDS-free generation” said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General.

WHO developing three 2016-2021 Global Health Sector Strategies for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Close up of woman's hand holding a condom.

As the world looks to 2030, and prepares to meet the challenges of an ambitious set of Sustainable Development Goals, WHO is developing three global health sector strategies to cover: HIV/AIDS - viral hepatitis - sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The strategies will cover 2016-2021 and will be finalized for consideration by the 69th World Health Assembly in 2016.

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.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)