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

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

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

The total number of STI cases diagnosed by sexual health services in England in 2017 was around the same as 2016.

There was a 22 percent rise in cases of gonorrhoea in 2017 compared to 2016 (from 36,577 in 2016 to 44,676 in 2017) and a strain of super gonorrhoea which can not be treated by antibiotics has made its way into the stats. Of these, roughly half the diagnoses (21,346) involved men who have sex with men, up from 17,626 in 2016.

Health professionals have expressed concern at the rise of gonorrhoea and the threat of super-gonorrhoea, a rare but emerging strain that is resistant to routine drug treatment.

We've been hearing for several years that a particularly nasty strain of gonorrhoea has been lurking around, that's resistant to most types of antibiotics.

The rise in syphilis follows a ten-year trend, with three-quarters of new diagnoses in gay and bisexual men.

The number of confirmed cases of gonorrhoea and syphilis in England in 2017 rose by 22% and 20%, respectively, according to data released by Public Health England (PHE).

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

Over the past five years, attendances have jumped 13%.

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"There is no time for complacency", said Councillor Izzi Seccombe.

"Unless greater recognition and funding is given to councils to invest in prevention services, a reversal in the encouraging and continuing fall in STIs is now a real risk".

Debbie Laycock, from the Terrence Higgins Trust, told the BBC: "Our sexual health services are stretched too thinly and demand outweighs availability, with more cuts already planned".

Local councils that fund sexual health in the United Kingdom watched their central government funding slashed earlier this year as part of government efforts to eradicate the deficit following the 2008 worldwide financial crisis and subsequent recession.

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

The body recommended that local authorities enable young women to be tested for chlamydia while accessing contraceptive services.

Dr Gwenda Hughes, Consultant Scientist and Head of Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Section at PHE, said, "Sexually transmitted infections pose serious consequences to health - both your own and that of your current and future sexual partners". She explains that there is a high risk of infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and danger to the unborn babies.

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