NewsDesk @bactiman63

Health officials in the United Kingdom report record levels of gonorrhea and syphilis diagnoses in 2022, prompting the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to remind the public that are having sex with new or casual partners to wear a condom and get tested regularly, whatever their age or sexual orientation.


According to the data that was published today:

  • gonorrhea diagnoses increased to 82,592 in 2022, an increase of 50.3% compared to 2021 (54,961) and 16.1% compared to 2019 (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic) – this is the highest number of diagnoses in any one year since records began in 1918
  • infectious syphilis diagnoses increased to 8,692 in 2022, up 15.2% compared to 2021 (7,543) and 8.1% compared to 2019 – this is the largest annual number since 1948
  • people aged 15 to 24 years remain the most likely to be diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • in 2022, there were over 400 diagnoses of STIs made each day among young people

Japan: Syphilis cases top 5,000, Measles outbreak, Mpox cases rising

Dr Hamish Mohammed, Consultant Epidemiologist at UKHSA, said:

We saw more gonorrhea diagnoses in 2022 than ever before, with large rises particularly in young people. STIs aren’t just an inconvenience – they can have a major impact on your health and that of any sexual partners. Condoms are the best defense, but if you didn’t use one the last time you had sex with a new or casual partner, get tested to detect any potential infections early and prevent passing them on to others. Testing is important because you may not have any symptoms of an STI.

In 2022, there were 2,195,909 sexual health screens (diagnostic tests for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis or HIV) performed by sexual health services, an increase of 13.4% compared to 2021 (1,936,455).

While the increase in gonorrhea and syphilis diagnoses will in part be due to increases in testing, the scale of the increase in diagnoses strongly suggests that there is more transmission of STIs within the population.

Subscribe to Outbreak News TV on YouTube

Gonorrhea is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics and at risk of becoming untreatable in the future, making it vital that people test early and diagnose the infection so that they can prevent passing it on.

Regular screening for STIs and HIV, on at least an annual basis, is essential to maintain good sexual health for everyone having condomless sex with new or casual partners. In addition:

  • women, and other people with a womb and ovaries, aged under 25 years who are sexually active should have a chlamydia test after having sex with a new partner or annually
  • gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men should have tests for HIV and STIs annually or every 3 months if having condomless sex with new or casual partners