Blackpool has maintained its status as a ‘hotspot’ for the diagnosis of Sexually Transmitted Infections according to the most recent data from the UK Health Security Agency. Despite a fall in the number of patients being diagnosed, as during 2020 fewer people met new sexual partners due to the impact of the lockdown, Blackpool’s data remains significantly higher than the national average. In the resort 147 people were diagnosed with gonorrhoea in 2020. This is a rate of 106.2 per 100,000 people. There have also been a significant number of cases of other STIs like genital warts and syphilis. Figures show that in Blackpool in 2020 there were:
- 451 diagnoses of Chlamydia
- 67 diagnoses of genital warts
- 102 diagnoses of genital herpes
- 33 diagnoses of syphilis.
Overall, in Blackpool, there were 944 STI diagnoses in 2020. This is a rate of 682.2 new infections per 100,000 people.
Fylde’s statistics provide a more positive picture with 265 STI diagnosis in 2020, a rate of 326.3 per 100,000 people.
Disturbingly, with cases of a ‘super gonorrhoea’ being diagnosed in other regions, Dr Katy Sinka, STI section head at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), has commented: ‘After a couple of years without any cases of a hard-to-treat form of gonorrhoea, we have now seen four cases in the last two months. It’s too soon to say whether this will be the start of a longer-term trend, but we do know that STIs are on the rise in general. Getting an STI isn’t as simple as taking some medicine and moving on with your life – if not properly treated, they can have long term impacts on your and your partner’s health. Adding antibiotic resistance into the mix makes the impact on your life even greater. There are simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of gonorrhoea and other STIs. Use condoms consistently and correctly with all new or casual partners, test regularly for STIs and if you have any symptoms such as unusual discharge, don’t have sex until you are tested.’