A new Public Health England (PHE) report shows cases of gonorrhoea dropping by almost a 5th in the capital, compared to previous year.
The report presents new figures for 2016 that show a drop of 19% in cases of gonorrhoea from 2015. The STI has been increasing in London every year since 2009, so such a reduction for this year is an encouraging sign that Londoners are getting tested more frequently and are practising safer sex.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, Regional Director for PHE London, said: ‘London has turned the tide on an 8-year surge of gonorrhoea with overall rates of STIs decreasing. This encouraging news could show that work to promote frequent testing together with safe sex practices is paying off. This means people are using condoms and are regularly being tested.’
STIs are still a serious concern in London as the capital still maintains a 79% higher STI rate than any other part of the country. Of the top 20 local authorities in England that have the highest rates of STI diagnoses, 17 are found in London.
While London’s rate of new STIs fell by 5% last year, there is still more to do as cases of certain STIs (syphilis and chlamydia) are on the rise by 2% and 1%, respectively. In total, there were 117,600 new STIs reported in London, compared with 123,800 for 2015.
‘Poor sexual health remains a public health problem in London and STIs are still too high compared to other parts of the country, with rates of syphilis and chlamydia actually increasing,’ said Dr Doyle.
‘Tackling poor sexual health remains high on the agenda for PHE London and we will continue to work with our partners to deliver effective public health interventions to improve sexual health outcomes across the capital.’