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Brook statement on 2017 statistics for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Brook’s Medical Director, Dr Anatole Menon-Johansson, says:

“The 2017 statistics published today by Public Health England show that – alongside black ethnic minorities and men who have sex with men (MSM) – 15-24 year olds remain the most at risk of STIs. In this context it is a great concern that access to specialist sexual health services for young people is under threat. 
“Diagnoses of gonorrhoea has increased by 22% since 2016 and diagnoses of syphilis has increased by 20%, which is 148% increase relative to 2008 and the highest rate recorded since 1949. It is interesting to see that these figures include increase in gonorrhoea and syphilis among young women.
“Testing for chlamydia has decreased steadily over the last two years, with the number of tests in specialist sexual health services falling by 42% between 2016-17. However the positivity rate for chlamydia (9.7%) continues to increase and a key recommendation for local authorities is to enable young women to be tested for chlamydia when they access contraceptive services.
“National data shows that the positivity rate for chlamydia in partners is four times higher with 4/10 partners testing positive. This demonstrates how absolutely vital it is that the extent and quality of partner notification is improved and that services prioritise access to testing for partners.

“Brook echoes the call from the Association of Directors of Public Health 'to urgently reverse the cuts to the public health budget and increase investment in public health’
“Last month we joined forces with partners in the Sexual and Reproductive Health sector to highlight the extreme challenges faced by services in an open letter to the Secretary of State. This new data reinforces the critical state of services and clearly shows how the impact of severe public health cuts is failing our young people.”

Read the full data: Sexually transmitted infections and screening for chlamydia in England, 2017 

For media enquiries please contact Brook's press office on 07789 682831 or email press@brook.org.uk

Notes to editors

Brook believes that young people should have access to great sexual health services and wellbeing support.

Brook provides free and confidential sexual health information, contraception, pregnancy testing, advice and counselling, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and education programmes, reaching nearly 235,000 young people nationwide every year.
Read our Strategic Plan 2017-2020 and learn more about the difference we make in our latest Success Report.