SEXUAL transmitted diseases are on the increase – leading to an Eastbourne based charity issuing a stark warning.
Figures released by the Health Protection Agency show the number of sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, is going up here on the south coast.
The number of new cases has risen seven per cent, as has the amount of chlamydia diagnoses.
Cases of gonorrhoea in the south has skyrocketed by 32 per cent while syphilis has increase by 31 per cent in the last year. The Terrence Higgins Trust, which operates a drop-in centre in Dyke House, South Street, hopes the figures will encourage more people to get checked out and take better precautions.
Catherine Murphy, a spokesman for the charity, said, “These figures represent a step backwards for the nation’s sexual health.
“On the south east coast, STI rates rose by seven per cent last year, a far sharper increase than the national picture.
“Young people continue to bear the brunt of sexual ill health, with almost eight out of ten chlamydia diagnoses occurring among those aged 15 to 24.
“For years we have been warning not enough was being done to reduce STIs and this is now clearer than ever.
“These figures show us the NHS cannot afford to take its foot off the pedal on sexual health now.
“Investment in sexual health has to be maintained over the next few years in order to avoid much greater costs in the future.”