Dating apps blamed for rise in syphilis

Grant Boone
June 8, 2018

Most of the decrease occurred in sexual and reproductive health services, reflecting a reduction in provision, the report admitted.

Syphilis, which can be life-threatening if it severely damages the brain, heart or nervous system, incidences rose by 20 per cent from 5,955 in 2016 to 7,137 in 2017, according to a report by Public Health England (PHE).

Landers said that Marion County is overrepresented in regard to STIs due to three reasons: the high number of correctional institutions in Marion County, the association between substance use and STIs and Marion County's relatively young population - chlamydia and gonorrhea are typically seen in under 25-year-olds.

On the other hand, the new data shows that there has been a 22 percent increase in gonorrhoea cases compared to the 2016 data, which the Public Health England has described as 'concerning'.

Syphilis and gonorrhoea have increased by 20 per cent in the past year and this is from a rise in unprotected sex.

The rise in syphilis follows a ten-year trend, with three-quarters of new diagnoses in gay and bisexual men.

Gonorrhea and chlamydia are bacterial infections, and many people who contract them do not experience symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is mainly because gonorrhoea strains that are affecting people are becoming increasingly resistant to the antibiotics that are at hand.

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While diagnoses of STIs in England is overall stable with that reported for 2016, the number "remains worryingly high against a backdrop of damaging cuts to sexual health services", said Debbie Laycock, head of Policy and Engagement at Terrence Higgins Trust.

'Unless greater recognition and funding is given to councils to invest in prevention services, a reversal in the encouraging and continuing fall in STIs is now a real risk.

The figures showed a drop of 8% in those taking tests for chlamydia.

Dr Kirsty Foster for Public Health England North East said: "These latest figures make stark reading and show that, in common with the rest of the United Kingdom, poor sexual health continues to be a serious problem in the North East".

'The impact of STIs can be considerable, with some causing infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and harm to unborn babies.

"Consistent and correct condom use with new and casual partners is the best defense against STIs, and if you are at risk, regular check-ups are essential to enable early diagnosis and treatment", Dr. Gwenda Hughes from PHE stated.

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