THE number of people flouting safe sex and risking their health is on the increase in Swindon with 1,891 diagnosed with cases of STIs in the last year.
An extra 13 residents tested positive for a sexually transmitted infection in the town in 2013, a rise of more than 0.6 per cent on the 1,878 the previous year.
While the rate of chlamydia dropped slightly, going from 836 in 2012 to 835 in 2013, levels of gonorrhoea, herpes, syphilis and genital warts all rose in Swindon, according to the latest figures released by Public Health England.
Six additional cases of gonorrhoea were discovered in Swindon last year, bringing the total to 103, compared to 97 in 2012 and just 54 in 2011.
There were an extra 13 reports of herpes, with 119 diagnosed in 2013 compared to 106 in 2012.
Cases of syphilis doubled, with four reported in 2013.
Cases of genital warts saw the biggest rise in Swindon, going from 276 to 300 last year.
Dr Ayoola Oyinloye, the public health consultant at Swindon Council, said the local authority was determined to press ahead with the safe sex awareness campaign.
“We are committed to improving people’s sexual health and educating young people about the importance of practising safe sex is a big part of this,” he said.
“School health clinics, including the sexual health outreach clinics at New College and Swindon College, where for instance free chlamydia self-testing kits are available from vending machines, play a vital role. Their work involves not only giving information and advice, but also support with screening and treatment, if required.
“The rate of sexually transmitted infections diagnosed in Swindon is above the national average and in 2013 stood at 892 per 100,000 population – a slight increase on the previous year at 886.
“Chlamydia continues to be the most commonly diagnosed STI in Swindon.
“High rates of detection demonstrate an effective screening programme and we are among the top third of local authorities reaching the nationally recommended level.
“If you’re experiencing any symptoms, or have recently changed sexual partners, it is important to call on Swindon’s Sexual Health Services by telephoning 01793 604038 or contacting your GP.”