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Gonorrhoea and syphilis diagnoses rise as PHE figures confirm sexual health crisis ​ 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Public Health England data published today on sexually transmitted infections in England make clear we are failing to address the STI epidemic effectively. In the last year there has been a 22% increase in gonorrhoea cases. There has also been a 20% increase in syphilis diagnoses, part of a steady trend (the figures show the largest annual number of syphilis cases reported since 1949). The data also reports an 8% decrease in chlamydia testing “likely reflecting a reduction in service provision.”

These figures come in the context of repeated warnings from sexual health organisations, and most recently from the Royal College of Nursing[1], of dangerous disinvestment from sexual health services.

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT, said: “This Government is presiding over a national crisis in sexual health, caused in large part by the decision to implement year-on-year cuts to the public health grant which funds sexual health services. We urgently need to ensure that there is parity of esteem between sexual health services and all other healthcare, significantly increase public health funding, improve timely access to high quality sexual health services and increase substantially the numbers of STI tests taken by people at risk.”

[1] Local Government Association: “Sexual Health services at tipping point warn local councils”:

Faculty Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare: “call for urgent investment in SRH services” report :

British Association Sexual Health and HIV: “Save our Sexual Health Services” petition:

Family Planning Association comment in support of Royal College of General Practitioners: call for urgent change to protect SRH:

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NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expertise and practical resources. We champion the rights of people living with HIV and campaign for change.

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