The number of cases of gonorrhoea increased by 26 per cent between 2018 and 2019 according to a report by Public Health England, sparking concerns among health experts that many people are failing to practice safe sex.
The report found there were 70,936 diagnoses of the sexually transmitted disease last year compared with 56,232 the year before, contributing to a five per cent overall rise in STD cases in 2019.
There were increases in diagnoses of gonorrhoea among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, heterosexual women and heterosexual men.
PHE said the increase in cases was “partly” down to more testing and more accurate tests and more comprehensive data on STD diagnoses.
Cases of syphilis rose by 10 per cent between 2018 and 2019 when 7,982 diagnoses were reported while chlamydia increased by five per cent, with 229,411 cases last year. It is the most commonly diagnosed STD.
Over 1.3 million chlamydia tests were carried out on people aged 15 to 24 in England last year as part of a national screening programme.
There was also an increase in the number of consultations at sexual health clinics and online from more than 3.6 million in 2018 to over 3.8 million last year.
PHE said increasing rates of people changing their partners, sex without a condom and chemsex, where drugs are used as part of sex, were reasons behind rising transmission.