A young person is diagnosed with an STI every 4 minutes in the UK, data released by Public health England has revealed.
The data shows that there were over 144,000 diagnoses of these sexually transmitted infections in people aged 15 to 24 in 2017. In 2017, there were around 420,000 diagnoses of STIs in England. Of those, chlamydia accounted for nearly half of them, with 200,000 diagnosis of chlamydia and over 44,000 diagnoses of gonorrhoea. A large proportion of these STI diagnoses are amongst young people aged 15 to 24, who account for 63% of chlamydia diagnoses and 37% of gonorrhoea diagnoses.
‘Rates of STIs remain high in young people, and we want to make sure people know that the best way to protect themselves from getting an STI, is to use a condom,’ said Dr Sara Kayat, a GP.
‘Often STIs don’t have any symptoms, with 4 in 10 cases of chlamydia in women and around half of the cases in men symptomless, and they can have serious consequences. You can easily contract an STI or pass one on without even knowing it, so - as I tell my patients - make sure you use a condom.’
Rates of STIs in England remain high across England, and there has been a significant year-on-year increase in certain cases like gonorrhea, a 22% increase from 2016 to 2017.
‘Young people are more likely to be diagnosed with an STI than people aged 25 and older,’ said Dr Hamish Mohammed, Consultant STI Scientist at Public Health England. ‘STIs present a real threat to young people, and without using condoms, young people are putting themselves and their partners at risk of getting an STI.’