Syphilis diagnoses highest for almost 70 years

According to the report, gonorrhea numbers in England are up by 22 percent from 2016 to 2017, with 44,676 diagnoses recorded past year.

Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are still the most affected group.

Gonorrhea infections in OR have tripled since 2012, and OR has also seen increases in the sexually transmitted infections chlamydia and syphilis, matching a national trend.

Sexually transmitted infections or STI cases are continuing to be a big problem, especially in England where a number of officials are saying the issue is growing due to budget cuts. In 2017, the overall rate for STI has remained stable compared to 2016, but cases involving syphilis and gonorrhea have risen 20 percent and 22 percent respectively.

Cases of syphilis reported in England have reached the highest level since 1949, according to new data on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) released Tuesday by Public Health England.

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". Highest incidence is seen among adults aged between 25 and 34 years and they were one third of all the cases.

Public Health England is developing a syphilis action plan to address the increase in cases, and recently launched a sexual health campaign targeted at 16 to 24-year-olds called Protect Against STIs.

There has also been a sharp spike in syphilis across the board, with 5,955 cases treated in 2016, and 7,137 accounted for in 2017.

"Government must reverse cuts to councils' public health grants because we can not tackle this by stretching services even thinner", she added.

Most of the decrease took place in sexual and reproductive health services where chlamydia testing has fallen by 61% since 2015, which Public Health England said was "likely reflecting a reduction in service provision".

Dr Gwenda Hughes, consultant scientist and head of the STI section at Public Health England, said: "Sexually transmitted infections pose serious consequences to health - both your own and that of your current and future sexual partners".

The body recommended that local authorities enable young women to be tested for chlamydia while accessing contraceptive services.

Left untreated, gonorrhoea can lead to complications including infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease.

She said that there should be consistent and correct use of condoms with new and casual sexual partners as well as regular check-ups and testing to determine and treat these infections early.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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