This site is intended for Healthcare Professionals only

Consultations, screenings and STI diagnoses increased in 2022


Consultations, screenings and STI diagnoses increased in 2022

Diagnoses of new sexually-transmitted diseases in England increased between 2021 and 2022, as did the number of consultations and screenings, according to the latest official figures that revealed record numbers of gonorrhoea and syphilis cases.

Data from the UK Health Security Agency showed annual gonorrhoea diagnoses reached 82,592 cases last year, its highest level since records began in 1918. That was up 50 per cent on the 54,961 in 2021.

Cases of syphilis increased by 15 per cent, from 7,543 to 8,692, the highest annual total since 1948. The sharp rises in diagnoses of both diseases followed a dip in the number of consultations, sexual health screens and STI diagnoses during the Covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

There was an 8.2 per cent increase in consultations at sexual health services in 2022 – 4,394,404 consultations compared with 4,059,608 in 2021. Sexual health screening for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis or HIV was also up, with 2,195,909 in 2022 compared to 1,936,455 during the previous year.

Last year, there was 392,453 diagnoses of new STIs among residents in England compared with 317,022 in 2021.

The highest increase in gonorrhoea diagnoses was amongst 15 to 24-year-olds while infectious syphilis (primary, secondary and early latent) increased among gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) and heterosexual people.

Chlamydia diagnoses across all ages increased by 24.3 per cent from 160,279 in 2021 to 199,233 last year although first episode genital warts diagnoses went down to 26,079 compared with 28,497 in 2021.

The UKHSA said “the impact of STIs remains greatest in young people aged 15 to 24 years, GBMSM and some black ethnic groups.”

The number of chlamydia tests carried out on women aged 15 to 24 through the National Chlamydia Screening Programme fell last year to 690,531 from 698,979 in 2021. Diagnoses of chlamydia rose in 2022 to 68,882 compared with 56,562 the year before.

The report emphasised the importance of using condoms "consistently and correctly" to protect against HIV and other STIs as well as helping prevent unplanned pregnancies. It also said everyone should be screened for STIs and have a HIV test "on at least an annual basis if having condomless sex with new or casual partners."



Copy Link copy link button


Stay up to date with all the news, learning and insight in the world of pharmacy.