The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has released the latest figures pertaining to cases of sexually transmitted infections in England and the results suggest that much more needs to be done in the way of awareness campaigning all over the country. According to the HPA, cases of gonorrhoea have risen by 25% and this is by far the most worrying increase considering the infection is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotic treatment. Eventually, we may not be able to treat this infection. The number of STIs overall rose by 2% over the last year. Cases of syphilis rose by 10% and cases of genital herpes by 5%. Chlamydia infections were down on the previous year but this is thought to be because fewer people are presenting for screening.
Since testing methods have become more advanced, cases have been more easily identified as a result and this is part of the reason why the number of STIs is continually on the increase. However, the problem remains that people are still having unprotected sex despite all we know about the danger of HIV and the risks of other types of sexually transmitted infections.
Chlamydia is again one of the most common STIs in England. If left untreated, women with Chlamydia can go on to develop pelvic inflammatory disease and could become infertile. The fact that Chlamydia is often symptomless, makes testing all the more important. A decrease of 4% in the number of chlamydia infections reported among young adults indicated, according to the HPA, that not enough young people were being screened for the infection.
61% of the new cases of STIs were reported among men who have sex with men and 57% were reported among young adults who were between the ages of 15 and 24. More of an effort needs to be made to make information more accessible to young people and the message regarding the use of condoms as the only method available to prevent against STIs should be loud and clear.