WHO updates fact sheet on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) (28 February 2019)


The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its fact sheet on sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Background Information:

More than 30 different bacteria, viruses and parasites are known to be transmitted through sexual contact. Eight of these pathogens are linked to the greatest incidence of sexually transmitted disease. Of these 8 infections, 4 arecurrently curable:

  1. syphilis,
  2. gonorrhoea,
  3. chlamydia and
  4. trichomoniasis.

The other 4 are viral infections and are incurable:

  1. hepatitis B,
  2. herpes simplex virus (HSV or herpes),
  3. HIV, and
  4. human papillomavirus (HPV).

STIs are spread predominantly by sexual contact, including vaginal, anal and oral sex. Some STIs can also be spread through non-sexual means such as via blood or blood products. Many STIs—including chlamydia, gonorrhoea, primarily hepatitis B, HIV, and syphilis—can also be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy and childbirth.

A person can have an STI without having obvious symptoms of disease. Common symptoms of STIs…

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Universal Credit And The Severe Disability Premium

Same Difference

This Commons Library briefing looks at how Universal Credit will affect benefit claimants who are, or were, getting the Severe Disability Premium. It covers measures which came into force in January 2019 to prevent people getting SDP from moving onto UC until they can receive transitional protection, and proposed “transitional payments” for those who have already moved to UC and lost SDP.

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The Severe Disability Premium (SDP) is an addition payable with means-tested social security benefits. Universal Credit does not include an element equivalent to SDP – or indeed any of the disability premiums currently available. Disabled people may therefore find that their entitlement to UC is significantly lower than their previous “legacy” benefits. Transitional protection will be available to those moving onto UC at the final “managed migration” stage so that they are not worse off in cash terms at the point of transfer…

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The DWP oils prison’s revolving door

scottish unemployed workers' network

revolving door

If the ‘benefits’ system had been designed so as to ensure that someone released from prison was likely to be back there very soon, then it probably wouldn’t be very different from this.

Mike told us he had just signed onto Universal Credit after coming out of prison, and that he had been told he would get no advance to cover the 5-6 week wait before he received any payments. The reason given was that he had not informed the DWP when he went to prison, and so had gone on receiving benefits he wasn’t entitled to. But whatever he received has now gone, and he has nothing – not even a place to stay. He told us he was sleeping rough and would have to steal to survive. We directed him to the Shelter advice drop-in.

Peter had also had trouble with the law. He had been remanded in…

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Universal Credit Creates “looming Eviction Crisis.

Ipswich Unemployed Action.


For many people Citizen’s Advice is the first port of call when they have problems with benefits, starting with Universal Credit.

Here is what’s happening with our Citizen’s Advice Service in Suffolk.

The East Anglian Daily Times reports:

On Thursday, February 14, the final vote on 2019/20 budget proposals will take place at Suffolk County Council’s full council meeting, where divisive cuts to the £368,000 Citizens Advice grant over two years has been put forward by the Conservative administration.

But the opposition Labour group, which has already called for a reversal of the cuts, has now tabled an amendment to ringfence £2,500 from each councillor’s locality budget – an £8,000 pot each councillor has to spend on projects and improvements in their ward – for Citizens Advice.

With 75 elected councillors, the proposal would secure £187,500 for Citizens Advice’s core funding.

It means that the £184,000 Citizens…

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DWP Apologises For Finding Six Stone Stephen Smith Fit For Work

Same Difference

A man with multiple debilitating illnesses and whose weight plummeted to six stone was denied benefits and deemed fit for work, despite the fact that he could barely walk.

Stephen Smith, 64, from Liverpool, has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, osteoarthritis, an enlarged prostate and uses a colostomy bag to go to the toilet.

Nevertheless, he failed a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) work capability assessment (WCA) in 2017, which meant that his employment support allowance (ESA) payments were stopped. Instead, he was told to sign on to receive a £67 a week jobseeker’s allowance, visit the jobcentre once a week and prove he was looking for work.

Smith, who was living alone, told the Liverpool Echo: “I could only make it to the kitchen to make food once a day. I had no muscles in the back of my leg, which meant I couldn’t stand up at…

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‘If you want to avoid debt, take out a loan’ – DWP

scottish unemployed workers' network


When we asked John if his Jobcentre ‘Work Coach’ was trying to persuade him to move from JSA to Universal Credit, he laughed. ‘She’s like an insurance salesman’, he told us. ‘She never stops. I told her that I didn’t want to change over because you have to wait for the money and I could go into debt, and maybe lose my house – and she said I didn’t have to worry about going into debt because they would give me a loan!’. Perhaps failure to understand the link between loans and debt makes it easier for a jobcentre worker to sleep at night.

It was a busy – as well as frosty – morning outside the jobcentre on Friday.

Craig is a self-employed construction worker, but is currently unable to work due to a leg injury. He was carrying a big file of papers supporting his ongoing attempt to…

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Claimant Who Can’t Work Out Change From £1 Told By DWP She Can Work Out A Budget

Same Difference

When Sheila Nesbitt was asked what change you would get from £1 if you spent 75p, she didn’t know the answer.

It was one of the questions the 58-year-old was asked during a reassessment for benefit claim.

But, the assessor thought that she was able to work out a complex budget and the Department for Work and Pensions deemed her fit for work.

Sheila, of Gateshead, had her benefits moved from Employment Support Allowance to Universal Credit – despite the fact she has learning disabilities and can’t read, write, use a computer or do basic maths.

After being moved to Universal Credit, Sheila lost £100 per week and has struggled to balance her budget. She is now behind on paying her rent.

She said: “The assessor asked if I could do sums and I thought ‘Nah, not really’ I thought what is that.

After ending up in rent arrears and…

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