New figures reveal 2012 rise in STI diagnosis rates

Posted Jun 14, 2013 by Tim Sandle
New figures from Public Health England (PHE) show that the number of new sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnoses rose by five percent in 2012.
The reported cases of STI's increased from 428,255 in 2011 to 448,422 last year, according to the BBC. This increase could be due to improved detection methods.
However, the high rate also suggests that too many people are still putting themselves at risk of infection through unsafe sex.
The report reveals that young adults and men who have sex with men were named as the groups at greatest risk of contracting an STI, while chlamydia remained the most commonly-diagnosed condition, followed by genital warts and genital herpes.
In terms of infections of specific concern, a 21 percent rise in new gonorrhoea diagnoses was also highlighted as a cause for concern, due to the growing global threat posed by antibiotic resistance. In response to this, Lisa Power, Policy Director at Terrence Higgins Trust said in a press release: "The twenty-one per cent increase in gonorrhoea across England is particularly dangerous in the context of new reports of drug-resistant strains of the infection. It is vital that people, particularly young people starting their adult lives, understand how to prevent sexual ill-health. This includes using condoms and going for regular check-ups as well as valuing the importance of healthy relationships."
Dr Gwenda Hughes, the PHE's head of STI surveillance, is quoted as saying that: "Ongoing investment in programmes to increase sexual health awareness, condom use and testing, particularly for groups at most risk, is vital."