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Idrc Reports. 1984 Oct; 13(3):18-9.Every 6 seconds someone contracts a sexually transmitted disease (STD), according to Dr. Richard Morisset, chairperson of the International Conjoint STD Meeting held in June 1984 in Canada. Under the patronage of the World Health Organization (WHO), this meeting brought together 1000 specialists from more than 50 countries. Several workshops dealt with STDs in the 3rd world. The workshops revealed an urgent need for drug therapies and assistance for women and children in developing countries because these groups are most affected. A resolution to this effect had been adopted during the annual meeting of the general assembly of the International Union Against Veneral Diseases and Treponematoses (VDTI). WHO was asked to take aggressive action in this area of health. The VDTI resolution also mentioned the fatal cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), the connection between cancer and venereal diseases, and the increases in the rates of mortality, infertility, and neonatal infections resulting from chlamydia, a bacterial infection. The need to form a common front in order to review and improve diagnostic methods and various treatments was also emphasized. Dr. King Holmes, an STD researcher at the University of Washington, claimed that "even though a reduction in the number of cases of STDs is possible in the long run, the immediate future is rather bleak." Efforts of the medical world should focus primarily on chlamydis, according to Holmes. This disease is similar to gonnorrhea but is now believed to be much more widespread. Currently, it is estimated that more than 500 million people throughout the world are afflicted. The resulting infections are said to be responsible for a significant proportion of cases of pelvin inflammatory disease and of ectopic pregnancies. US show that when the disease goes undiagnosed in pregnant women, their newborns risk contracting conjunctivitis (50% chance) and penumonia (20% chance). The longterm effects of chlamydia on newborns are unknown. Women and children suffer the most serious complications for STDs. Half of all infertility in women is caused by such diseases. Cervical cancer is the result of an STD. Dr. Willard Cates from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta appealed to governments, WHO, and other international organizations to concentrate their efforts on pregnant women, if prevention and treatment programs for the entire population were not feasible at present. Research in progress in the US and France has identified the virus that causes AIDS, but neither group of researchers believe that the production of vaccine is imminent. 1 conclusion of the Canada conference was that without a profound change in attitude, scientists will be unable to stamp out the epidemic of STDs.