The number of diagnoses of the sexual transmitted infection gonorrhoea has increased by an “unprecedented” 25 per cent in the past year, the Health Protection Agency has revealed.
Gonorrhea, the second most common bacterial STI in the UK, is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotic treatment and Britain faces “the very real danger of the untreatable gonorrhoea in the future”, health experts said.
There were 20,965 new cases of gonorrhoea diagnosed in England in 2011, up from 16,835 in the previous year. Overall, diagnoses of STIs were up by two per cent in the UK in 2011, reversing a small decline observed in the previous year.
Although the dramatic increase in gonorrhoea cases was partly attributed to more sensitive testing, the HPA said that too many people were still putting themselves at risk, with gay men and young heterosexual adults were the groups causing the greatest concern. Instances of gonorrhoea were up by 61 per cent among men who have sex with men and young heterosexual adults, between 15 to 24-years-old, represented 57 per cent if all new gonorrhoea diagnoses.