With cases of sexually transmitted infections growing, researchers hope self-tests — made popular by the pandemic — could stem the tide.
Global cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have been on the rise in some countries. Even the COVID-19 pandemic — which locked down life in many ways — hasn’t halted the trend. In April, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the first year of the pandemic saw 133,945 cases of syphilis, a 52% increase since 2016 (see ‘Resurgence’).
And this is probably an underestimate, the CDC says, given that health-care clinics had to limit in-person visits at the start of the pandemic, and STI surveillance programmes found their resources shifted elsewhere. The situation sparked a push for at-home tests for syphilis and other STIs.