Officials with Public Health England reported on newly published data today that revealed a 20 percent increase in 2017 compared to 2016.

Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

There were 7,137 diagnoses of syphilis reported in 2017 compared to 5,955 cases in 2016 and a 148 percent increase relative to 2008.

The increase in syphilis follows a 10-year trend, with 78 percent of diagnoses in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM).

Other important statistics from the report includes:

  • In 2017, there were approximately 422,000 diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) made in England, around the same number that was reported in 2016.
  • There were 44,676 diagnoses of gonorrhea reported in 2017, a 22% increase (from 36,577) relative to the year prior.
  • There were 441 diagnoses of first episode genital warts in 15 to 17 year old girls in 2017, a 90% decrease relative to 2009 and an early expression of the success of the national HPV immunization program.

Dr Gwenda Hughes, Consultant Scientist and Head of Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Section at PHE, said:

Sexually transmitted infections pose serious consequences to health – both your own and that of your current and future sexual partners. 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.

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