UK Health Officials Blame Dating Apps and Government For Rising STI Numbers

UK Health Officials Blame Dating Apps and Government For Rising STI Numbers

UK health officials suggest that dating apps are the reason cases for sexually-transmitted diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhea are rising.

Despite the 0.3 percent drop since 2016 in the number of STI infections, the Public Health England has seen a 22 percent increase (44,676) in the number of gonorrhea cases – the highest since the mid-1950s.

They also saw a rise in syphilis, which could cause life-threatening and serious damage to the brain, nervous system and heart. There was a 20 percent increase from 2016 to 2017 from 5,955 to 7,137.

PHE Head of the STI Department Gwenda Hughes said STI is serious health consequence and is usually due to condomless sex. She said these apps allow people to find their partners in rapid numbers. Hughes said STIs are problematic for both future and current partners. The impact on the infected could be significant, causing PID and infertility. An infected pregnant woman could endanger the life of her baby.

She said the best defense against an STI is to always and correctly use a condom. People at risk are urged to get tested regularly to get diagnosed and start treatment right away.

Campaigners also suggest it’s not just the practice of unsafe sex and dating apps leading to the rise in STI numbers. They also blame the government’s cuts to sexual health service as another reason.

British Association for Sexual Health and HIV President Dr. Olwen Williams said the major rise in both gonorrhea and syphilis should be concerning to the government, making them realize the need for easily accessible sexual health service for anyone who needs them. He said more sex health clinics are closing down because they can’t afford to stay in operation, which leaves patients in a bind to find affordable health care.

A report shows that 72 out of 151 England councils would cut sex health funding for the 2018-2019 year.

Written by Mark Riegel, MD

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