United Kingdom: Sexual Disease Epidemic in Ulster
August 8, 2006
Last year, there were 4,393 STD diagnoses in Northern Ireland, 2,317 more infections than in 1995, according to Health Minister Paul Goggins. The figures were revealed in response to a written parliamentary inquiry. House of Commons Member David Simpson (Democratic Unionist Party) raised the issue earlier this year and said more genito-urinary clinic workers would be required.
In the last 10 years, syphilis cases among Northern Ireland men rose 3,000 percent. Among gay men, there was a 6,300 percent increase in gonorrhea diagnoses. Diagnoses of chlamydia among Ulster females increased 239 percent in the same period.
"The increase in [STDs] in Northern Ireland over recent years is marked," Simpson said. "Although these figures only represent those cases detected at Genito-Urinary Medicine clinics, they demonstrate an obvious trend," he said.
"Waiting lists at GUM clinics have soared over recent years," Simpson continued. "Unfortunately, patients who cannot be seen immediately pose a potential risk for spreading infection to others when there are long waiting times. Efforts should be made to standardize care across the UK, incorporating a maximum waiting time of 48 hours."
08.07.06; Nigel Gould
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.