The number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) increased last year, according to Public Health England (PHE).
STI diagnoses rose by 5% between 2017 and 2018, going from 424,724 to 447, 694, while the number of sexual health consultations, face-to-face and online, went up by 7% during that period, from 3,337,677 to 3,561,548. The full details are contained in a PHE report.
“The rise in STIs is likely to be due to people not using condoms correctly and consistently with new and casual partners, and an increase in testing improving detection of the most common STIs,” PHE said.
Diagnoses of gonorrhoea increased by 26%, reaching 56,259 in 2018, while cases of syphilis more than doubled between 2009 and 2018, reaching 7,541 last year.
Chlamydia was the most commonly diagnosed STI with 218,095 cases last year. PHE said 15 to 24-year-olds make up 60% of new diagnoses.
“The rise in sexually transmitted infections is concerning. STIs can pose serious consequences to health, both your own and that of current and future sexual partners,” said Dr Gwenda Hughes, head of STI surveillance at PHE.
“No matter what age you are or what type of relationship you are in, it’s important to look after your sexual health. If you have sex with a new or casual partner, make sure you use condoms and get regularly tested.”
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