Syphilis cases up 20 percent in England

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

A mutant strain of the infection - which cannot be treated with the usual course of antibiotics - struck in Britain for the first time earlier this year.

However, while there is alarm that some sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise, a look at the overall figures reveal diagnoses of STIs in England remained stable in 2017 compared to 2016.

As per the new data, total 7,137 new cases of syphilis were recorded in the year 2017, which is a 20 percent jump from 2016 and is double the number which was recorded in the year 2012.

Debbie Laycock from Terrence Higgins Trust claimed that the sexual services that are available are stretched "too thinly" and any further cuts would be unacceptable given the current rise in syphilis and gonorrhea.

This is particularly concerning given the recent emergence of a drug-resistant strain of the STD, which is being referred to as "super gonorrhea".

Across all STIs, the highest rates of diagnoses continue to be seen in 16 to 24 year olds, underscoring the need for increased condom use and testing. She explains that there is a high risk of infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and danger to the unborn babies.

The majority of these cases are in men, where figures have increased sharply from 135 in 2016 to 170 in 2017.

In the US, gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported notifiable disease, with 468,514 cases reported in 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

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

More than 400,000 new diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections were made in England a year ago, with cases of syphilis and gonorrhoea on the rise according to official figures.

From those tests, an estimate of 126,000 young adults, between the ages of 15-24 years, was diagnosed with it.

There were 441 diagnoses of first episode genital warts in 15 to 17 year old girls in 2017, a 90% decrease relative to 2009 and an early expression of the success of the national HPV immunization program.

The increase in syphilis follows a 10-year trend and the reports show that of those infected the most by this STI are people who are gay, bisexual or men who had sexual relations with other men.

On the other, there has been a reduction in number of cases of chlamydia infection by 8 percent.

"Most worryingly, that includes a 61% drop in chlamydia testing in sexual and reproductive health services in just two years".

"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". See story HEALTH STIs.

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