Syphilis and gonorrhoea spikes in the UK

GETTYCases of syphilis are at their highest in England for nearly 70 years

A staggering 78 percent of diagnoses of the infection affected queer men.

Syphilis and gonorrhea cases have increased by at least 20 percent since past year, according to figures released by Public Health England this week.

In March 2018, a man was diagnosed with the first case of "super gonorrhea" in the United States, concerning health officials that current rise in gonorrhea could potentially lead to more cases like this.

In a report Public Health England said the impact of STIs remains greatest in young people aged 15 to 24, especially among gay men and among black and minority ethnic populations.

More than 18,000 sexually transmitted infections (STIs) were diagnosed in the North East previous year.

Commenting on the figures, Dr Olwen Williams, president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, said: "These dramatic increases in syphilis and gonorrhea 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".

This comes after a syphilis sufferer, who has been made anonymous and given the name Gavin, urged anyone who has had unprotected sex to get themselves tested after he experienced no symptoms and only discovered the STI during a routine at-home test.

There were 44,676 diagnoses of gonorrhea reported in 2017, a 22% increase (from 36,577) relative to the year prior.

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Total SHS attendances across England increased 3 percent between 2016 and 2017, from 3.2 million to 3.3 million.

Figures also showed a drop of 8 percent in the number of tests for chlamydia.

National Aids Trust chief executive Deborah Gold told The Independent that this spike is a result of government cuts to the public health grant which funds sexual health services.

Public Health England noted that most of this decrease had taken place in sexual and reproductive health services, where chlamydia testing has fallen by 61 percent since 2015, a trend "likely reflecting a reduction in service provision".

Gwenda Hughes, head of the STI department at PHE, said: "Sexually transmitted infections pose serious consequences to health".

Consistent and correct condom use with new and casual partners is the best defense against STIs, and if you are at risk, regular check-ups are essential to enable early diagnosis and treatment.

The infection can cause infertility and an inflammatory disease in your pelvis, so it's certainly not the type of thing you want running amok in your body.


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