June 6 (UPI) — Syphilis and gonorrhea cases have increased by at least 20 percent since last year, according to figures released by Public Health England this week.
The data shows a 20 percent increase in syphilis cases and a 22 percent increase in gonorrhea, compared with 2016.
Approximately 75 percent of the new syphilis cases were found in homosexual men.
“Consistent and correct condom use with new and casual partners is the best defense against [STDs], and if you are at risk, regular check-ups are essential to enable early diagnosis and treatment,” said PHE’s Dr. Gwenda Hughes.
Although syphilis and gonorrhea have spiked, other sexually transmitted diseases have declined. Public Health England showed a 90 percent decline in genital warts since 2009 among 15 to 17 year olds, which was achieved by implementing a national immunization program.
STDs have been on the rise in other western countries.
In Australia, syphilis cases increased by 107 percent and gonorrhea increased by 63 percent between 2011 and 2016, CNN reported.
Last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the highest number of Americans infected with STDs ever, with more than 2 million new cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia.