Leeds named the STI capital of Yorkshire – again

Close up picture of a condom being heldFor every 10,000 people living in Leeds, around 110 have been diagnosed with an STI.

Despite numbers of the diseases declining, Leeds takes the top spot for the second year running.

Recent statistics show that Leeds has the highest rate of citizens effected by STIs.

The figures were released by Public Health England which stated that there were 8,617 new cases of STIs discovered by doctors in Leeds during 2018.

This figure has gone down from 8,763 in 2017, but still remains higher than any other area in Yorkshire and Humber.

The declining figure in Leeds goes against national statistics, which show that the number of STI cases across the country is on the rise.

The most commonly treated STI has been Chlamydia. There’ve been over 21,000 diagnoses this past year.

“More could be done to teach young people about the dangers of unprotected sex”

One woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, spoke to Leeds Hacks to share her experience with an STI.

“I knew about the dangers of unprotected sex from school, but one mistake and suddenly I was in the doctors being told I had Chlamydia.

“I didn’t know enough at first which made me overthink everything. How bad was it? Was I in any real danger? What would happen next?

Photo of Doxycycline, a drug used to treat Chlamydia
Doxycyline, seen here, is commonly used to treat Chlamydia. Photo Credit – Wiki Commons

“It was the not knowing what was going on part that freaked me out. I obviously knew about all the STIs but was never really taught anything more than their names.

“Luckily, I had my friends who were there for me and they really tried to calm me down when I was a mess. They were showing me articles online full of statistics, facts and stories from other people that helped make me a feel a bit better at first.

“After a week or so of taking some tablets, everything was sorted, so I felt a bit silly for panicking so much. Can you really blame me though, when I had no real idea what was happening?

“I think, certainly where I’m from, more could be done to teach young people about the dangers of unprotected sex as I would hate to see anyone go through the stress I went through.”

Syphilis levels highest since World War 2

Across the country, STI rates are slowly increasing mainly due to the rise in gonorrhoea and syphilis.

A report published by the UK government shows that gonorrhea is becoming a more common problem and it also states that syphilis levels have not been this high since World War 2.

Meanwhile, £700 million pound has been stripped from local councils’ public health budgets since 2014 by central government.

Dr Olwen Williams of the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV told the media: “The continuing escalation in gonorrhea and syphilis diagnoses must be addressed as an urgent health priority, otherwise there is the potential for devastating consequences to the well being of the wider population and the health system as a whole.

“Recent years have unfortunately however seen severe and damaging cuts to sexual health service funding, jeopardising our ability to meet these challenges at a critical time. The workforce issues currently being experienced have left the sector at breaking point.”

If you or anyone you know is suffering from an STI, contact the Leeds Sexual Health Centre immediately to get checked up.

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