Warning as STIs on rise across West Midlands - The Solihull Observer

Warning as STIs on rise across West Midlands

Solihull Editorial 8th Jun, 2023   0

GONORRHOEA cases are on the rise across the West Midlands, according to latest Government statistics.

Diagnoses of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) were up to 6,042 in 2022, an increase of 40.3 per cent compared to 2021 and up three per cent on pre-pandemic figures for 2019.

Infectious syphilis diagnoses were up to 634 in 2022, an increase of 13.8 per cent compared to 2021 and 41.2 per cent higher than in 2019.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says people aged 20 to 34 in the region are the highest risk group for STIs and the total number of STI consultations in the region has increased to 346,799 in 2022 from the pre-pandemic figure of 302,268 in 2019.

Dr Mamoona Tahir, UKHSA West Midlands health protection consultant, leading on sexually transmitted infections, said: “Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) represent an important public health problem in the West Midlands, with younger people (aged 20 to 34) being in the highest risk group for all top five STIs – syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, herpes and genital warts.

“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.”

The UKHSA is reminding everyone having sex with new or casual partners to wear a condom and get tested regularly – whatever their age or sexual orientation.

Though STIs are usually easily treated with antibiotics, many can cause serious health issues if left untreated.

The agency added regular testing for STIs and HIV is essential to maintain good sexual health.

Testing is free and confidential, and you should get tested even if you are not showing any symptoms.



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