Sexually transmitted infections up more than 20pc in Norfolk

Across Norfolk, there has been a 26pc increase in gonorrhea diagnoses and 24pc increase in chlamydia

Across Norfolk, there has been a 26pc increase in gonorrhea diagnoses and 24pc increase in chlamydia Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The number of people diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhoea in Norfolk rose by 20pc or more last year new figures have revealed.

The lead for sexually transmitted infections at Public Health England (PHE) has urged people to practice safe sex as gonorrhoea diagnoses rose by 26pc between 2018 and 2019 nationally as well as in Norfolk.

The 70,936 new gonorrhoea diagnoses have contributed to a 5pc increase in STI diagnoses in 2019, following an increase in testing.

Chlamydia continues to be the most commonly diagnosed STI and saw a 5pc increase from 2018.

But, in Norfolk chlamydia cases were four times higher with a 20pc rise from the previous year - and up 24pc in people aged 25 and above.

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Dr Hamish Mohammed, PHE’s national lead for sexually transmitted infection surveillance, said; “The considerable rise of gonorrhoea cases in England as well as the continued rise of other STIs is concerning. STIs can pose serious consequences to health – both your own and that of current and future sexual partners.”

He said the increase in gonorrhoea is challenging for healthcare professionals due to the condition becoming more resistant to antibiotics.

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“The consistent and correct use of condoms is the best defence against all STIs,” said Dr Mohammed, “If you have had sex without a condom with a new or casual partner, you should get tested.”

People aged 15 to 24 are affected most by STIs according to the report.

In Norfolk, the number of people aged 25 and over diagnosed with chlamydia was 1,189 per 100,000 people, or 3,134 per 100,000 when considering all age groups.

Norfolk County Council’s public health team commissions sexual health services provided by iCaSH and offers contraceptive care through GP practices across the county.

It put the increases down to a higher screening rate.

A council spokesman said: “It’s encouraging that Norfolk’s numbers are lower than other parts of East Anglia. It reflects the effectiveness of the targeted screening and testing approach adopted in the county.

“By targeting our screening and reaching those at highest risk, we identify infection. We are treating those individuals and preventing further spread.

“We will analyse the most recent data and make adjustments where necessary.”

The iCaSH service has centres in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn.

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