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Decrease in STI rates

The number of new national cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has shown a decrease for the first time in a decade.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) revealed a 1% drop in England last year, especially focused on the young.

Figures showed that 418,598 new STI cases were uncovered in 2010, a 1% drop on the 424,782 cases in 2009. This decline comes amid increased levels of testing for STIs (which saw a 1% rise to 1.18 million).

Chlamydia cases, particularly common among those under 25, are stable, with 189,612 last year and 189,625 in 2009. There were 2.2 million chlamydia tests among those aged 15-24, a rise of 196,000 on 2009.

Genital warts cases dropped 3%, down to 75,615 in 2010 from 77,900 in 2009. Syphilis dropped 8%, while genital herpes also fell by 8%. The HPA says it is difficult to say why numbers are showing a decrease, with one possibility being that regular testing can be halting infections from being passed on.

Copyright © Press Association 2011