STI rates fall, especially among young adults

STI rates have fallen for the first time in 10 years, most notably among young people figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) show.

STI rates have fallen for the first time in 10 years, especially among younger people, says the HPA (Photograph: J Varney)
STI rates have fallen for the first time in 10 years, especially among younger people, says the HPA (Photograph: J Varney)

In 2010, there were 418,598 new STI diagnoses in England, down from 424,782 in 2009.

Although this drop represents a fall of just 1%, it occurred as tests for STIs increased. For instance 2.2m chlaymdia tests were carried out in England in 2010 among young people aged 15 to 24, a rise of 196,500 from 2009.

Among younger adults there has been a notable decline in some STIs in the past two years, the HPA said. From 2008 to 2010, diagnoses of genital warts in women and men aged 15-19 fell by 13% and 8% and diagnoses of those of gonorrhoea fell by 13% and 14%.

Dr Gwenda Hughes, head of the HPA’s STI section said: ‘Although the drop is modest this is the first time we’ve seen a decrease in STIs in over 10 years so it is an important milestone.

‘These are very early days but we hope that this is the beginning of a downward trend.’

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