Safe sex: Hackney has highest rate of chlamidia in the UK.

Safe sex: Hackney has highest rate of chlamydia in the UK. Photograph: PHE

Young people in Hackney have the highest rate of chlamydia in the country, according to a report by Public Health England.

Figures from 2014 reveal a growing number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in London, bucking a downward national trend.

Among Hackney’s 15 to 24 age group, chlamydia – the most common STI in the country – was detected in 4,270 residents per 100,000 population.

The impact of STIs remains greatest in young people under the age of 25 years and gay men (gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men).

Dr Gwenda Hughes, head of STI surveillance at Public Health England said reducing the spread of STIs must be a “public health priority”.

Dr Hughes said: “We are particularly concerned about the large rises in diagnoses among gay men. In this group we saw a 46% increase in syphilis and a 32% increase in gonorrhoea. Gonorrhoea in particular is becoming harder to treat as new antibiotic resistant strains emerge.”

“Effective commissioning is critical to improving STI prevention. Prevention work should continue to focus on people in the groups at highest risk of infection, such as young people and gay men.”

Public Health England recommends that for people in these high risk groups, getting screened regularly will lead to early diagnosis and treatment, as these infections are frequently without symptoms.

Sexually active under 25 year olds should be screened for chlamydia every year, and on change of sexual partner.

Men who have sex with men (MSM) should have a full HIV and STI screen at least annually or every 3 months if having condomless sex with new or casual partners.

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