Gonorrhoea & syphilis on the rise

New figures from Public Health England reveal that in 2018, there were 447,694 diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) made in England, a 5% increase since 2017.

There were 56,259 diagnoses of gonorrhoea reported in 2018, a 26% increase since 2017; this is of concern given the three cases of extensively drug resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae identified in England in 2018.

There were 7,541 diagnoses of syphilis reported in 2018, a 5% increase since 2017.

But there’s good news as there were 193 diagnoses of first episode genital warts in 15 to 17 year old girls in 2018, a 56% decrease relative to 2017, and 100 diagnoses of first episode genital warts in same age group heterosexual boys, a 46% decrease relative to 2017; this is a continuation of the steep decline observed since 2014 and is largely due to the high coverage of the nationwide HPV Immunisation Programme.

And since 2015, there has been a marked decrease in new HIV diagnoses in men who have sex with men as a result of the scale up of combination HIV prevention including but not limited to: HIV testing, treatment as Prevention (TasP), and pre exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Overall for the last decade in England the total diagnoses have stayed fairly constant between 400,000 and 500,000 a year with small variation up or down.