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7 June 2023
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Gonorrhoea and syphilis at record levels in 2022

New data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) published today shows record levels of gonorrhoea and syphilis diagnoses in 2022.

The latest data shows:

  • gonorrhoea diagnoses increased to 82,592 in 2022, an increase of 50.3% compared to 2021 (54,961) and 16.1% compared to 2019 (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic) – this is the highest number of diagnoses in any one year since records began in 1918
  • infectious syphilis diagnoses increased to 8,692 in 2022, up 15.2% compared to 2021 (7,543) and 8.1% compared to 2019 – this is the largest annual number since 1948
  • people aged 15 to 24 years remain the most likely to be diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • in 2022, there were over 400 diagnoses of STIs made each day among young people

UKHSA is reminding everyone having sex with new or casual partners to wear a condom and get tested regularly, whatever their age or sexual orientation. Testing is free and confidential and you should get tested even if you are not showing any symptoms.

Though STIs are usually easily treated with antibiotics, many can cause serious health issues if left untreated. Chlamydia and gonorrhoea can cause infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease, while syphilis can cause serious, irreversible and potentially life-threatening problems with your brain, heart, or nerves.

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