Newham is top ten borough for STI infections

More people have sexually transmitted infections (STIs) latest figures reveal.

More people have sexually transmitted infections (STIs) latest figures reveal.

Health experts at NHS East London and the City made the call after the Health Protection Agency published the latest statistics on STI diagnoses across London. According to the statistics London has seen an increase of one per cent in the number of people being diagnosed with STIs compared with last year.

The rate of new diagnoses in London was 50 per cent higher than in any other region in England. Twelve of the 31 PCTs in London had the highest rates of infection in England. Of the top 20 PCTs for STIs in England, 80 per cent (16) were in London.

Figures from the HPA show that the rates of acute STIs were 1661 per 100,000 of population in Newham putting the borough in the top 10 authorities across London. The figures for 2009 were 1556.

The rates of chlamydia were 593 (up from 2009:460) , gonorrhoea 121 (down from 2009: 131), syphilis 10 (down from 2009: 15), herpes 98 (up from 2009:88) and warts 176 (up from 2009: 168) per 100,000 population.

However NHS East London and the City sees the increase as a success story as it means a greater number of people are being tested and treated for STIs.

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NHS East London and the City, that covers Newham, has worked with and in the community to support people to make safe decisions about sex, raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of STIs and to encourage access to testing. It has achieved this through rapid tests, drop in clinics, family planning centres, mail outs, outreach and local GPs.

Dr Jose Figueroa, deputy director of public health in Hackney for NHS East London and the City said: “Many STIs, like Chlamydia, have no signs or symptoms; sometimes symptoms don’t appear for weeks or months or they go away even though you still have the infection and therefore you can pass it to others without realising it. STI screening, and where appropriate treatment, is free, confidential and should be part of your health routine especially if you practice unsafe sex or when you change partners.

“Using a condom every time you have sex will protect you against many, but not all, sexual infections. Sex without a condom can put you at greater risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection.”