Cases of syphilis and gonorrhea have risen by a fifth in one year following the emergence of drug-resistant strains, new figures show.
The figures show diagnoses of syphilis are at their highest level for nearly 70 years, with 7,137 cases last year. The figure is a 20 per cent rise on the previous year, and more than twice that recorded in 2012.
And cases of gonorrhea rose by 22 per cent in a year, with almost 45,000 diagnoses in 2017.
It comes after a drug-resistant strain of gonorrhoea hit Britain earlier this year.
A British man was thought to be the first in the world to develop a strain of the infection which could not be treated with the two main antibiotics used to treat the infection.
The man, who picked up the infection after having sex in south-east Asia, was finally successfully treated with intravenous drugs.
Public Health England, which published the figures, described the rise in gonorrhoea cases as “concerning”.
Total attendances at sexual health clinics in England rose by 3 per cent between 2016 and 2017, from 3.2 million to 3.3 million.
Debbie Laycock, from sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust, said the number of infections being diagnosed remained “worryingly high”.
She raised fears that services were facing further cuts, having already been “stretched too thinly”.
“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,” she said.
The PHE report warned that the diagnoses of gonorrhoea in 2017 was of “concern given the recent emergence of extensively drug resistant neisseria gonorrhoeae”.
Councillor Izzi Seccombe, chairwoman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said the rise in attendances was placing a “significant strain” on council resources.
Feel free to comment on story below