Cases of gonorrhoea and syphilis in England soared last year, according to new figures from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). Nationally, gonorrhoea diagnoses rose to 82,592 in 2022, representing an increase of 50.3% compared to 2021 and the highest in any one year since records began in 1918.
However, these official figures are only based on people who actually came forward for an Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) test. This means many other cases, where people have the STI but don’t seek out a test, could be missed and not included in the data.
Dr Hamish Mohammed, consultant epidemiologist at the UKHSA, warned ‘We saw more gonorrhoea 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 defence 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.’
If treated early, gonorrhoea likely to clear up without any longer term issues. If left untreated it can case a range of health problems, including infertility and in rare cases lead to a life threatening infection if it reaches the bloodstream.