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article imageSexually transmitted diseases rising in Britain

By Tim Sandle     Jul 1, 2015 in Health
London - Annual figures relating to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have been released for 2014 for the U.K. The figures make for interesting reading in relation to sexual health trends.
The newly released figures reveal that there were 439,243 sexually transmitted infections (STIs) reported in England during 2014. In terms of demographics, the data suggests that STIs occur disproportionately with young people under the age of 25 years. Another group with higher association are gay men (that is both gay and people who define themselves as bisexual.)
Of the different types of STI’s, Chlamydia is the most common STI. The bacterial infection accounts for almost 50 percent of cases (206,774 incidents). Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, which infects human cells. In women, the infection can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, and in men inflammation of the urethra is most common. Treatment is by antibiotics, such as azithromycin, erythromycin and ofloxacin.
Second on the list of most common infections were genital warts (some 70,612 incidents). In terms of the fastest growing rate of infections, both syphilis (33 percent increase) and gonorrhoea (a 19 percent rise) top the list. Genital warts are symptoms of a highly contagious disease caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV); gonorrhea is an infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. With gonorrhea symptoms in men are a burning sensation with urination and discharge from the penis; with women the symptoms are manifest by pelvic pain.
Commenting on the trends, Dr Gwenda Hughes, head of STI surveillance at Public Health England stated: “The stats published today show that too many people are getting STIs. Reducing this spread must be a public health priority.”
She added: “We are particularly concerned about the large rises in diagnoses among gay men. In this group, we saw a 46 percent increase in syphilis and a 32 percent increase in gonorrhoea. Gonorrhoea, in particular, is becoming harder to treat as new antibiotic-resistant strains emerge.”
While all young people (below the age of 25) are offered chlamydia screening, a mere 14 percent of men and 35 percent of women take up the offer. The STI trends suggest that higher proportions are at risk of infection.
To reduce the rate of infection, Public Health England recommends screening; use of condoms; lowering the number of sexual partners, and avoiding overlapping sexual relationships.
More about Stds, Sexually transmitted diseases, Chlamydia, genital warts, Syphilis
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