Last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the highest number of Americans infected with STDs ever, with more than 2 million new cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia.
New data has revealed that the number of people in England who have contracted the sexually transmitted infections (STI), syphilis and gonorrhea, has drastically increased. Gonorrhea was fourth on the list with 347 cases in 2016, an increase from only about 60 cases in 2013. Infection rates for all three STIs have increased each year for the past three years in the USA, according to Marion County Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers.
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".
Health officials now fear there could be more cases after recording 44,676 diagnoses of gonorrhoea in 2017 - a 22% increase on the previous year.
Super-gonorrhea, which is resistant to various treatments, is shaping up to be a problem with one case confirmed in the United Kingdom last March 2017, then two cases in Australia following soon after, according to BBC News. "Health inequalities will remain and councils may be unable to respond effectively to unforeseen outbreaks". However, the decline may also reflect a rise in the use of home testing kits - and the availability of testing in other settings, it says.
"Government must reverse cuts to councils' public health grants because we can not tackle this by stretching services even thinner", she added. PHE said "most of this decrease in testing took place in sexual and reproductive health services where chlamydia testing has fallen by 61% since 2015, likely reflecting a reduction in service provision".
"A reduced ability to identify, test and treat exposed people means they may be unaware of their infection and could be spreading it to others", Landers said.
Public Health England concluded their report with a call for stronger local and national prevention and care services, and more sexual health education in secondary schools.
Dr Gwenda Hughes from PHE said: "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". She explains that there is a high risk of infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and danger to the unborn babies.