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Public Health England STI Report: 5 Key Findings

A new report published by Public Health England shows that the amount of sexually transmitted infections in the UK continues to rise. To help you understand what these latest findings mean, Your Sexual Health has broken down the facts.

The Key Findings

Gonorrhoea is a huge cause for concern

In 2018, there were 56,259 new cases of gonorrhoea discovered in England. This was a worrying 26% increase in comparison to 2017. What’s even more concerning about these findings is the fact that three cases of the antibiotic resistant form of the infection, known as ‘super-gonorrhoea’, have been discovered in the UK during this period.

Sexual health diagnoses are on the rise overall

It’s not just gonorrhoea figures that are on the rise, sexually transmitted infections as a whole have increased by 5% since 2017. This included a 5% increase in new syphilis diagnoses and a 6% increase in chlamydia cases. Overall there were 447,694 new STI diagnoses throughout the year in comparison to 424,724 cases reported in 2017.

Young people are getting tested less through national chlamydia programme

It’s only a small decrease, but there was a 1% decrease in chlamydia tests carried out among young people aged between 17 and 24 years of age through the National Chlamydia Screening Programme. Despite less people getting tested, more young people tested positive for chlamydia throughout the same time frame with a 2% increase.

Young heterosexuals aged between 15 – 24 remain the most impacted

Young heterosexuals aged between 15 and 24 years of age noticed more diagnoses than any other age group. Other impacted groups noticing above average positive STD diagnoses included black ethnic minorities; and gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM).

There are huge geographical variations for chlamydia testing

The amount of young people getting tested for chlamydia varied greatly depending on where in England they lived. According to the report the percentage of young people tested varied from 15% in the West Midlands to 28% in London. The detection rates also varied greatly according to location, with 1,589 per 100,000 testing positive in the South East vs 2,610 per 100,000 in London.

How can the spread of STIs be prevented?

With the continued rise of sexual health, it’s always worth remembering how the spread of sexually transmitted infections can be prevented. We’ve outlined some bullet points below: –

  • Regular sexual health testing can avoid passing asymptomatic sexually transmitted infections on to other sexual partners
  • Using a condom during sex dramatically reduces the liklihood of contracting sexually transmitted infections
  • If you have unprotected sex with someone you should get tested following your first encounter

To find out more about the sexual health tests available from Your Sexual Health visit our tests page. We have a wide range of discreet and confidential tests against all common sexually transmitted infections.