Eurosurveillance, Volume 17, Issue 29, 19 July 2012
RAPID INCREASE IN GONORRHOEA AND SYPHILIS DIAGNOSES IN ENGLAND IN 2011
E J Savage ()1, K Marsh1, S Duffell1, C A Ison1, A Zaman1, G Hughes1
- Health Protection Agency, Colindale, London, United Kingdom
Citation style for this article: Savage EJ, Marsh K, Duffell S, Ison CA, Zaman A, Hughes G. Rapid increase in gonorrhoea and syphilis diagnoses in England in 2011 . Euro Surveill. 2012;17(29):pii=20224. Available online: http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=20224
Date of submission: 13 July 2012
There has been a rapid rise in the number of gonorrhoea and syphilis diagnoses in England during 2011, an increase of 25% and 10% respectively. Large increases of both gonorrhoea (61%) and syphilis (28%) were observed among men who have sex with men. Although these rises can partly be attributed to increased testing, ongoing high-levels of unsafe sexual behaviour probably contributed to the rise. The rise in gonorrhoea rates is worrying in an era of decreased susceptibility to treatments.
The number of new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) diagnosed in England during 2011 increased by 2% (419,773 to 426,867) from 2010. This rise in STIs followed a small decline in diagnoses seen in 2010 and is a return to the steady increase in STI diagnoses observed over the past decade. However, unlike previous years, in 2011 there was a particularly pronounced rise in the number of diagnoses of gonorrhoea (25%; 16,835 to 20,965) and infectious (primary, secondary and early latent) syphilis (10%; 2,650 to 2,915). Only laboratory-confirmed diagnoses are reported.