Highest surge in syphilis for nearly 70 years 'due to government cuts'

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A similar trend can be noted in cases of another sexually transmitted infection (STI): gonorrhea.

Public Health England (PHE) data revealed that 422,147 new diagnoses were made at sexual health services in 2017 and although that was about the same number as in 2016, STIs were found to have increased, with 7,137 diagnoses of syphilis reported - a 20% increase on 2016 and 148% increase relative to 2008.

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.

There was a 22 percent rise in cases of gonorrhoea in 2017 compared to 2016 (from 36,577 in 2016 to 44,676 in 2017) and a strain of super gonorrhoea which can not be treated by antibiotics has made its way into the stats.

Both STIs have increased by more than 20% in the past year, and cases of syphilis are at their highest level for almost 70 years, new figures show.

Public health officials are often unable to investigate STIs because cases may not be able to give a name or address of exposed partners, and the number of partners people may have has increased.

Total SHS attendances across England increased 3 percent between 2016 and 2017, from 3.2 million to 3.3 million.

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However, gonorrhoea cases were up 22 per cent to 44,676.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, the chairman of the Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Board, said the rise in attendances was placing a "significant strain" on council resources.

'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.

Debbie Laycock from Terrence Higgins Trust claimed that the sexual services that are available are stretched "too thinly" and any further cuts would be unacceptable given the current rise in syphilis and gonorrhea.

There was an 8% decline in the number of chlamydia tests between 2016 and 2017.

Hence, the agency suggested that all the local authorities should enable young women to go and get tested for chlamydia when they use contraceptive measures, called for strong more sex education in all the secondary schools and importance of healthy relationships with partners.

Gwenda Hughes, head of the STI department at PHE, said: "Sexually transmitted infections pose serious consequences to health". Both diseases can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility if untreated.