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Syphilis is on the rise among gay men according to new statistics

Public Health England also found a strain of gonorrhoea which cannot be treated by antibiotics

2018-06-05

Syphilis is on the rise among gay men according to new statistics from Public Health England.

The report, which collated STI diagnoses across England in 207, found that men who have sex with men are more likely to be at risk of catching syphilis with 78 per cent of diagnoses being from the LGBT community.

Syphilis in general has seen a year on year increase with 5,955 cases in 2016 compared to 7,137 last year.

Public Health England is also concerned about the rise of gonorrhoea which has seen a 22 per cent rise in 2017 compared to 2016.

The report also found a strain of super gonorrhoea which cannot be treated by antibiotics.

Debbie Laycock, the head of Policy and Engagement at Terence 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.

“Our sexual health services are stretched too thinly and demand outweighs availability, with more cuts already planned.

“The significant rise in both syphilis and gonorrhoea shows why further cuts are completely unacceptable and would be extremely damaging, particularly given the emergence of a new extensively drug-resistant strain of gonorrhoea.”

Laycock went on to say that gay and bisexual men from black and minority ethnic communities are more likely to be infected with an STI.

She said: “Young people, those from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities, gay and bisexual men, and people living with HIV continue to be the most affected by STIs.

“More work must be done to ensure people from these groups have access to the information and sexual health services they need to improve and look after their sexual health.”