Increases in STI diagnoses show more funding for sexual health services urgently needed

New STI data for England in 2018 show a 5% increase in STI diagnoses since 2017, with an especially worrying increase in gonorrhoea diagnoses of 26% and a 5% increase in syphilis diagnoses. There is encouraging evidence of the impact of HPV vaccination with a substantial drop in diagnoses of genital warts. But overall the continuing climb in the incidence of serious STIs, especially affecting younger people, BAME communities and gay and bisexual men, demonstrates the urgent need to continue to improve the reach of sexual health services.

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust), said: “We have high quality and dedicated sexual health services across the country. But year-on-year cuts to sexual health budgets are pushing these services to breaking point. Services cannot keep up with need or demand and sexual health inequalities are deepening. This shocking 26% increase in gonorrhoea diagnoses must be a wake-up call to Government. Reverse the cuts to public health and increase substantially the funds available to sexual health clinics. That is the only way to get on top of these serious infections.”

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