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New cases of gonorrhoea up by a quarter in 2011

Experts have expressed the concerns that sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are becoming untreatable. It i...

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|May 31|magazine8 min read

Experts have expressed the concerns that sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are becoming untreatable.

It is after the release of new figures revealed that new cases of gonorrhoea increased by 25 percent in 2011 in England.

Overall, there was a two percent increase in the number of new diagnoses of STIs last year, according to the UK’s Health Protection Agency (HPA).

“This is a trend we need to reverse,” commented Dr Angie Bone the Director of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme.

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However, the increase is not just occurring in the UK; it is also being felt across the world, and drug-resistant strains have already been identified in some locations in Europe and Asia.

Such a huge rise in new cases of gonorrhea has been attributed to young people having unsafe sex, particularly male homosexual couples.

“The 2011 data are a matter of concern regarding young heterosexuals and men who have sex with men,” the HPA’s Dr Gwenda Hughes explained.

“We anticipated some increase in diagnoses due to improvements in testing in recent years, but not on the scale seen here.

“These data show that too many people are putting themselves at risk of STIs and serious health problems by having unsafe sex.”

She says the obvious way in which to prevent the spread of STIs and STDs is to encourage the use of contraceptives, particularly condoms, among youngsters.

“The rises in 2011 demonstrate it is crucial the work to reduce STIs continues,” she added.

“Coupled with this, ensuring easy access to sexual health services and STI screening is important for controlling the transmission of all STIs and needs to be focused on groups at highest risk.”

There are vast concerns that gonorrhoea is now becoming resistant the antibiotics and drugs that are used to treat it.

Hughes continues: “Laboratory testing over the last five years has shown a large increase in the amount of resistance to the main drugs used to treat gonorrhoea, presenting the very real danger of untreatable gonorrhoea in the future.”

In addition to the increase in new cases of gonorrhoea, diagnoses of syphilis rose by 10 percent, while genital herpes went up by five percent.

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