New figures show that the number of reported gonorrhoea cases in Sheffield have risen by nearly 100%, with more than 600 people diagnosed with the STI in one year.
The city’s NHS services found that 645 patients were treated for the disease, which is up from 350 the year before. The figures were produced by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
However, of all the sexually transmitted infections being treated, chlamydia is still the most common. HIV infections have dropped, however, suggesting that education on safe sex and HIV, especially in higher-risk communities, is being heard.
A trust spokesperson said that although the rise in gonorrhea diagnoses was concerning, the increase was in line with trends at a national level. Cases are on the rise across the UK for a number of reasons, with dating apps believed to be partly driving a rise in casual hook-ups.
Better access to testing?
However, it may not all be bad news. The rise in diagnoses may also be because access to sexual health testing has improved, with Sheffield’s sexual health facilities being recently overhauled to ensure that testing, contraception, and treatment were all made more accessible.
The advantages of home testing
As an example, London home STI kits are now also available in the Moor Market. Additionally, Sheffield residents can take advantage of online postal kits that ensure that people who are concerned about STIs can get tested quickly without the need to wait for an appointment. Find out more about how London home STI kits work.
The postal test kits have the advantage of being discreet and quick. Users receive their results to a secure phone number or online portal. They are given further information on treatment and the next steps if they are found to test positive.
Sheffield residents can also now access six new hubs for sexual health services located across the city and its surrounding areas. The city council has increased its funding towards sexual health services in the hope of increasing awareness of sexual health, access to sexual health services, and access to treatment for patients who are infected with an STI.
Many people are now walking into same-day testing services for immediate testing, with services to confidentially tell partners if a positive result is achieved to prevent onward infection amongst the broader community.