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article imageBig increase reported in sexually transmitted diseases

By Tim Sandle     Jun 4, 2019 in Health
London - The latest health figures show a marked increase sexually transmitted infections in England, especially among the younger generation. This is reflected in few 'safe sex' practices.
The new data comes from Public Health England, the government health watchdog. With the latest figures, relating to 2018, there were 447,694 new diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections, which represents a 5 percent increase on the 422,147 cases recorded in 2017. The highest risk groups are identified as young people and men who have sex with men.
With specific infections, gonorrhoea (caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae) increased the most, showing a 26 percent jump to 56,259 cases. Infections relating to the Gram-negative diplococci bacteria are now at their largest number since 1978. Within the national figure there are some interesting regional variations, including a big rise in the U.K.'s second biggest city - Birmingham.
Second on the list is syphilis, with 7,541 cases. Syphilis is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. Cases of infection saw an increase of 5 percent, up on 2017.
Speaking with The Daily Mail, Dr Olwen Williams, president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV said: "The continuing escalation in gonorrhoea and syphilis diagnoses must be addressed as an urgent health priority...Otherwise there is the potential for devastating consequences to the well-being of the wider population and the health system as a whole."
The primary cause is, according to Public Health England, a reduction in safe-sex practices. This is noted by Dr Gwenda Hughes, Head of STI Surveillance who notes: "The rise in sexually transmitted infections is concerning. STIs [sexually transmitted infections] can pose serious consequences to health – both your own and that of current and future sexual partners. No matter what age you are, or what type of relationship you are in, it’s important to look after your sexual health. If you have sex with a new or casual partner, make sure you use condoms and get regularly tested."
More about sexually transmitted infections, Disease, Sexually transmitted disease
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