Rates of chlamydia, the most common sexually transmitted infection, continue to rise, particularly in men.
Between 2002 and 2003 there was a 9 per cent rise in the number of cases of chlamydia diagnosed at genito-urinary clinics - a rise of 10 per cent in men and 8 per cent in women.
The number of cases has risen steadily since the mid 1990s and more than doubled from around 34,100 cases diagnosed in 1996 to just under 89,800 in 2003.
The highest rates are seen in young people, especially women under 25 years. In 2002, 16 to 19 year old females had the highest chlamydia rate, at 1,201 per 100,000 females seen at clinics - a diagnostic rate equivalent to almost 1 per cent of the female population within this age group. Among men the highest rate was for those aged 20 to 24, at 837 per 100,000.
In 2003, within England, rates in both males and females were highest in London, but were also high in Yorkshire and Humberside and the North West.
Genital chlamydial infection is an important reproductive health problem, because 10 to 30 per cent of infected women develop pelvic inflammatory disease. It can also cause infertility in men.
In 2003 the second most common sexually transmitted infection was uncomplicated gonorrhoea. There were 24,309 infections diagnosed in genito-urinary clinics in 2003, a 3 per cent decrease from 2002. Again young people are most commonly infected and the highest rates are found in London and predominantly urban areas.
Page created on August 16th, 2004
Page updated on December 1st, 2009