Home > Article > Rates of STIs drop across Brighton and Hove due to lockdown disruption

Rates of STIs drop across Brighton and Hove due to lockdown disruption

SEXUALLY transmitted disease rates have plummeted in the city as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fewer people having sex during lockdowns and disruption to health services contributed to a drop in diagnoses of STIs in Brighton and Hove, and across England, latest figures have shown.

Data from Public Health England found that 3,155 STIs were diagnosed in Brighton and Hove last year, down 31 per cent on the year before.

The most common infection was chlamydia with 1,342 cases in 2020, with 548 cases of gonorrhea, 277 of genital warts, 200 of genital herpes and 175 of syphilis.

However, The British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) warned the latest figures could represent the "tip of the iceberg."

Dr John McSorely, president of BASHH, said the drop of diagnoses highlighted the impact the pandemic has had on sexual health services.

"Whilst a drop in the number of new infections appears positive, it is important to remember that England entered the Covid pandemic with the highest rates of some STIs since the Second World War.

Rates of STIs drop across Brighton and Hove due to lockdown disruption

"STIs haven't gone away, chains of infections haven't been broken."

The drop in cases reflects a combination of reduced testing for STIs, as well as a result of disruption to sexual health services and changes in sexual behaviour since lockdowns were first implemented in March 2020, a Public Health England report found.

Dr Katy Sinka from Public Health England, said: "No one wants to swap social distancing for an STI, and as we enjoy the fact that national Covid-19 restrictions have lifted, it's important we continue to look after our sexual health and wellbeing.

"If you are having sex with new or casual partners, use a condom and get tested.

"STIs can pose serious consequences to your own health and that of your current or future sexual partners."

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