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More infected with sexual diseases

Department of Health (DH) figures show there was a sharp increase in the number of people contracting HIV and a range of other sexually transmitted infections over an eight-year period.

The data reveals that the amount of people being newly diagnosed with HIV rose every year, and that between 1997 and 2005 the number increased from 2,542 to 7,115.

The report also shows that incidences of chlamydia rose from 38,839 in 1997 to more than 100,000 in 2006.

Some 99,230 cases of uncomplicated chlamydial infection were diagnosed at genitourinary medicine clinics, with a further 14,972 diagnosed as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme.

The figures, which were released in a Commons written answer by Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo, also reveal that more people are contracting anogenital warts and herpes.

Syphilis - which affected just 147 people in 1997 - was contracted by 2,515 individuals in 2006, according to Health Protection Agency figures.

The figures were released in response to a question from shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley, who had earlier branded Labour's record on public health "abject".

Department of Health

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