Sexually transmitted diseases rising in UK

July 6, 2016 11:30 am

officials warn of a dramatic increase in syphilis and gonorrhea in the .

British
Health officials are warning of a dramatic rise in the sexually
transmitted infections (STIs) of syphilis and gonorrhea in the United
Kingdom since 2012.

New
figures published in a report by Public Health (PHE) on Tuesday
revealed that between 2012 and 2015, cases of syphilis rose by 76
percent, from 3,001 to 5,288, while gonorrhea infections had a
53-percent jump from 26,880 to 41,193 cases.
The
report said that the diseases are believed to be notably on the rise
among homosexual men, with gonorrhea particularly undergoing a
21-percent increase among “gay and bisexual men.”
“We
need to do more to raise awareness about STIs and how they can be
prevented,” said Gwenda Hughes, head of STI surveillance at PHE, adding
that, “It is also vital to ensure there is easy access to STI testing
and treatment services that meet the needs of local populations.”
Hughes
recommended regular tests and screening for HIV (human immunodeficiency
virus) and STIs, and the use of protective condoms in sex acts.
“These
statistics should set alarm bells ringing about the availability of
sexual health services for young people and men who have sex with men,”
she added.
Natika Halil, the
chief executive of the Family Planning Association in , also
voiced concern over the alarming situation, saying, “We are concerned by
the increased diagnoses rates of gonorrhea and syphilis, particularly
among men who have sex with men, and also with the considerable
variation between different areas.”
She
pointed out to a strong link that exists between poor sexual health,
one sign of which is the high rates of STI diagnoses, and higher levels
of deprivation.
“Local
authorities need to pay close attention to what is happening in their
area and invest in prevention services to help bring down this still
very high number of STIs,” Halil added.
Syphilis
and gonorrhea are bacterial infections that can cause heart problems,
blindness, paralysis or even death, if left untreated.
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