Report shows STIs in gay and bisexual men on the rise
A report has found that sexually transmitted diseases have increased by 10% in Britain’s gay and bisexual men.
The report released by Public Health England (PHE) today, found there was a total of 434,456 STIs reported in England in 2015, with 54,275 cases coming from gay and bisexual men.
Gonorrhoea and syphilis have seen the highest increases in gay men – a 21% rise and 19% rise respectively.
However, chlamydia was the most commonly diagnosed STI overall accounting for 46% of diagnoses.
Young people, aged 25 and under, remain the age group most impacted by the infections.
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Though young people are routinely offered chlamydia screening, only 13% of young men and 32% of young women were tested last year.
The report suggests the rise in STIs are due to a lack of condom use.
“We need to do more to raise awareness about STIs and how they can be prevented,” Dr Gwenda Hughes, head of STI surveillance at PHE said. “Especially the effectiveness of using condoms.”
“We recommend that anyone having sex with a new or casual partner uses condoms and tests regularly for HIV and STIs,” she added.
“It is also vital to ensure there is easy access to STI testing and treatment services that meet the needs of local populations.”
PHE suggests that gay and bisexual men test for HIV and STIs annually or every 3 months if having condomless sex with new or casual partners.
In May, NHS England faced criticism after declining to commission Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PreP), an HIV-prevention drug that can reduce people’s chances of being infected with HIV by up to 99 percent if taken daily.