The latest figures from Public Health Wales indicate an increase in the number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) diagnosed in Wales.
According to the report, there were a total of 12,852 STI diagnoses in 2017. These included 6920 cases of chlamydia, 3020 of first episode genital warts, 1422 of first episode herpes, 1190 of gonorrhoea, 214 of syphilis and 86 of HIV. A 53% rise in the cases of syphilis and 21% rise in cases of gonorrhoea diagnosed were observed in 2017.
The diagnoses of STIs were most pronounced in the younger population. The rate for gonorrhoea in 15-24 year olds was 149.4 vs 38.2 per 100,000 in the overall population. Men who have sex with men (MSM) account for a significant proportion of STI diagnoses. In 2017, MSM accounted for 65%, 34% and 48% of all syphilis, gonorrhoea and HIV diagnoses.
Zoe Couzens, Sexual Health Lead at Public Health Wales, said: "Increases in STIs are usually related to changes in sexual behaviour in the population. Casual sex is now more available as people linkup through apps." The public needs to be educated that STIs are treatable and those who have had unprotected sex should get tested for STIs. Sexual health clinics and some GPs and charities offer free testing and treatment.