Highest surge in syphilis for almost 70 years 'due to government cuts'

GETTYPublic Health England said regular use of condoms will limit the spread of the disease

GETTYPublic Health England said regular use of condoms will limit the spread of the disease

More than 7,000 cases of syphilis and almost 46,000 cases of gonorrhoea were reported to Public Health England in 2017.

Last December, Public Health England (PHE) launched a sexual health campaign aimed at promoting condom use among young people.

"Our sexual health services are stretched too thinly and demand outweighs availability, with more cuts already planned".

"Chlamydia rates have been high for many years, but are increasing, while rates of gonorrhea and syphilis are showing recent but significant increases", Landers said. The number of patients with gonorrhea increased to 22 percent in the same year. She explains that there is a high risk of infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and danger to the unborn babies.

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Speaking of the figures, Dr Olwen Williams, president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, said: "These dramatic increases in syphilis and gonorrhoea are a huge concern and must provide a wake-up call to the Government about the importance of ensuring that high-quality, easily-accessible sexual health services are available for all those who need them". In March 2018 for example a man was admitted with gonorrhoea that was highly resistant to the two types of antibiotics that this bacteria is most sensitive to.

"All three cases were associated with travel to south-east Asia".

In 2017, there were approximately 422,000 diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) made in England, around the same number that was reported in 2016.

The report said the impact of sexually transmitted infections remains the greatest in heterosexual people aged 15-24 years, black ethnic minorities and MSM.

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On the flip side, Public Health England noted a rapid decrease in the occurrence of genital warts, which is largely due to the high coverage National HPV immunization program.

The rise in syphilis follows a 10-year trend, with three-quarters of new diagnoses in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. However, the decline may also reflect a rise in the use of home testing kits - and the availability of testing in other settings, it says. According to the PHE, most of this decline has been seen in the SHS where testing for chlamydia has come down by 61 percent since 2015.

"The fact that young people continue to be disproportionately affected when it comes to STIs clearly shows a much needed emphasis on sexual health and STIs when relationships and sex education (RSE) becomes compulsory in England from 2019". Infection rates for all three STIs have increased each year for the past three years in the US, according to Marion County Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers.

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