Syphilis and Gonorrhea Spike by 20 Percent in England

Thomas D. Williams PH.D – June 7, 2018

Cases of syphilis and gonorrhea have risen by one fifth in England in just one year, mostly among gay men, according to a report released Wednesday by Public Health England (PHE).

The new report reveals a 20 percent increase in syphilis cases between 2016 and 2017, from 5,955 cases to 7,137 cases, with the vast majority (5,592 cases, or 78 percent) in gay, bisexual, and other “men who have sex with men” (MSM).

The past year’s increase in syphilis diagnoses follows a 10-year upward spiral, with the number of cases increasing by 148 percent relative to 2008 — from 2,874 to 7,137 cases during this period.

PHE said that the number of syphilis diagnoses in 2017 was “the largest annual number reported since 1949.”

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