The Independent (London) (05.31.12)
Gonorrhea diagnoses in the United Kingdom experienced an 'unprecedented' 25 percent spike in the past year, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA).
Currently the UK's second-most common bacterial STI, gonorrhea is becoming more resistant to antibiotic treatment, causing health experts to warn of the 'very real danger of untreatable gonorrhea.' In addition to more sensitive testing, HPA blames the spike on risky behavior, with men who have sex with men (MSM) and heterosexual young adults causing the most concern.
UK STI diagnoses reversed a small previous decline and climbed by 2 percent in 2011. HPA reported:
*There were 20,965 new cases of gonorrhea in England in 2011, compared to 16,835 in 2010.
*Gonorrhea in MSM increased 61 percent.
*57 percent of all new gonorrhea diagnoses were among heterosexuals ages 15-24.
*New syphilis diagnoses increased 10 percent to 2,915.
*New herpes diagnoses increased 5 percent to 31,154.
*New chlamydia diagnoses decreased 2 percent to 186,196
Sex education advocates maintain public health officials have 'taken their foot off the pedal' in warning the public about the seriousness of STIs. They predict the impeding transfer of responsibility for public health care to already financially troubled local authorities will make matters worse.