Reports of sexually transmitted infections are on the rise in the UK. According to an article published by the BBC, there was a 5% increase overall from 2017 to 2018 (from 422,147 to 447,694.
The most commonly diagnosed STIs were chlamydia, genital warts, gonorrhoea and genital herpes.
Why the increase now?
There is concern that many people at risk are not getting tested regularly enough. There is also concern that individuals that experience potential symptoms are too embarrassed to visit their GP.
Recent cuts to sexual health services are believed to have put extra pressure on an already stretched service.
Young people today are using condoms less than they used to, which may be another factor causing the increase in the spread of infections.
What can be done to reduce the spread of STIs?
Education on sexual health has improved vastly in the last 20 years, but it is believed there is still more work to be done.
Experts such as Doctor Gwenda Hughes from Public Health England are encouraging young people to always use condoms when they have sex with a new or casual partner.
Some businesses are even doing their bit, by using promotional condoms from Custom Condoms UK to have their own branded condoms printed. These double up as a way of promoting their business with a unique freebie, whilst also promoting sexual health through the use of condoms.
How bad is the increase?
According to Public Health England, the number of new diagnoses of sexual health infections in England has risen every year since 2008, with the exception of 2016.