Syphilis and gonorrhoea up by one-fifth


Syphilis and gonorrhea cases have increased by at least 20 percent since previous year, according to figures released by Public Health England this week.

However, while there is alarm that some sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise, a look at the overall figures reveal diagnoses of STIs in England remained stable in 2017 compared to 2016.

Black and other ethnic minority groups are found to be disproportionately affected, while 75 percent of new syphilis diagnoses are on gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men, making this the most at risk demographic.

The report added: "The large increase in gonorrhoea diagnoses between 2016 and 2017 is concerning due to the ongoing circulation of high-level azithromycin resistant gonorrhoea". PHE said "most of this decrease in testing took place in sexual and reproductive health services where chlamydia testing has fallen by 61% since 2015, likely reflecting a reduction in service provision".

Dr Kirsty Foster for Public Health England North East said: "These latest figures make stark reading and show that, in common with the rest of the United Kingdom, poor sexual health continues to be a serious problem in the North East".

The figures showed a drop of 8% in those taking tests for chlamydia.

Debbie Laycock from Terrence Higgins Trust claimed that the sexual services that are available are stretched "too thinly" and any further cuts would be unacceptable given the current rise in syphilis and gonorrhea.

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From those tests, an estimate of 126,000 young adults, between the ages of 15-24 years, was diagnosed with it.

This is particularly concerning given the recent emergence of a drug-resistant strain of the STD, which is being referred to as "super gonorrhea".

In the USA, gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported notifiable disease, with 468,514 cases reported in 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. "The impact of STIs can be considerable, with some causing infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and harm to unborn babies", said Dr. Gwenda Hughes, consultant scientist and head of sexually transmitted infection section at Public Health England.

Oi Government... Sex ed is failing the young.

Dr Foster also stressed that these STIs are preventable - so it is crucial that Public Health England continues to communicate messages about sex safe, the importance of wearing a condom and getting checked out after unprotected sex.

"The welcomed decline in HPV-related genital warts is as a result of vaccinating girls against HPV before they become sexually active".

"There's no clear plan for tackling consistently high rates of STIs". There were 1,815 new diagnoses in 2017 compared to 1,747 in 2016 - an increase of 4% whilst figures for herpes have also risen by 5%.