Friday, 21 September, 2018

Syphilis cases up 20 percent in England

GETTYCases of syphilis are at their highest in England for nearly 70 years GETTYCases of syphilis are at their highest in England for nearly 70 years
Melissa Porter | 09 June, 2018, 12:25

Sixty-five per cent of all syphilis cases in 2017 were in men who have sex with men.

Almost four-fifths of diagnoses (78%) were in men who have sex with men.

The rise in syphilis and gonorrhea cases in England was balanced out by a decrease in some other infections, including cases of genital warts, which declined 90% since 2009 among 15 to 17 year-olds - thanks to a national immunization program.

Gonorrhea and syphilis are sweeping over England as the country sees an alarming rise in sexually transmitted infections in the past year. Infection rates for all three STIs have increased each year for the past three years in the US, according to Marion County Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers.

Diagnosing syphilis during the early stage of the infection is important.

While the overall number of new STI diagnoses in 2017 was broadly unchanged year on year (422,147 - a drop of 0.3% on 2016), there was also a 22% increase in cases of gonorrhoea - a trend Public Health England described as "concerning".

Speaking today (Tues) Debbie Laycock, from sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust, said: "Today's stats confirm the number of STIs diagnosed in England remains worryingly high against a backdrop of damaging cuts to sexual health services".

It follows the first case of gonorrhoea highly resistant to the two types of antibiotics used to treat it being recorded in the United Kingdom in March.

There has been a rise of 3 percent in SHS attendance between 2016 and 2017 (3.2 million in 2016 and 3.3 million in 2017).

Councillor Izzi Seccombe, chairwoman of the Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Board, said the rise in attendances was placing a "significant strain" on council resources. Gonorrhea was fourth on the list with 347 cases in 2016, an increase from only about 60 cases in 2013. "Health inequalities will remain and councils may be unable to respond effectively to unforeseen outbreaks".

The Public Health England has also noted that there has been a decline in chlamydia testing by 61 percent since the year 2015. She called on the government to reverse the cuts to the councils so that they can meet the rising requirements.

According to Dr Gwenda Hughes, consultant scientist and head of the STI section at PHE, the long term health consequences of STIs are many.

"Consistent and correct condom use with new and casual partners is the best defence against STIs, and if you are at risk, regular check-ups are essential to enable early diagnosis and treatment".

Hughes also stated that STI's can cause a serious health problem for those who are infected as it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and danger to unborn babies.