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Increase in sexual infection rates

A new report suggests that sexual health across the UK is getting worse.

According to data released by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), a total of 376,508 new sexually transmitted infections were diagnosed in 2006 - up 2.2% on the 368,341 figure for 2005.

In 2006, there were 113,585 cases of chlamydia across all age groups diagnosed at the UK's genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics. This was up almost 4% on the 109,418 cases in 2005.

New cases of syphilis stayed steady, with 3,702 cases in 2006 compared with 3704 cases in 2005. However, the overall trend for the last decade is that syphilis is on the rise.

And the report suggests there are an estimated 73,000 adults now living with HIV in the UK.

This figure includes both those who have been diagnosed and around a third (21,600) who remain unaware they have HIV.

Professor Pete Borriello, director of the HPA's Centre for Infections, said: "We need to change attitudes towards condom use. It should be clunk clip every trip.

"The best way to protect yourself from contracting an STI including HIV is by practising safer sex by using a condom with all new and casual partners."

Health Protection Agency

Copyright © PA Business 2007

Related story: New chlamydia scheme targets men
Clinical Zone: Sexual health

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