These Are The Places With The Highest STI Rates In England, According To PHE

STI diagnoses in England have soared 5% in the last 12 months but services are warning of an imminent "tipping point" with funding cuts.

London, Brighton, Manchester and Blackpool have come out on top in new statistics for sexually transmitted infections (STI) as the most prolific areas for new STI diagnoses in England.

Analysis of new data from Public Health England found the capital is by far the worst area in the country – the top 15 areas on the list are all London boroughs with the City and Westminster, taking first and second place respectively.

In London there is an average of 1.71 positive diagnoses for every 100 people tested. Compared to the national average of just 0.85 per 100.

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Outside of London, the seaside student destination of Brighton and Hove has the highest proportion of new STI diagnoses in the country (1.5), followed closely by Manchester (1.4), Blackpool (1.2), Salford (1.2), Bristol (1.1), Reading (1.1) and Liverpool (1.1).

Other high ranking cities included Portsmouth, Nottingham, Birmingham, Plymouth, Wolverhampton, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Peterborough and Coventry.

England’s largest university cities, such as Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Newcastle all feature within the top twenty.

The region with the highest proportion of new STI diagnoses is the north west, followed by the south east, west Midlands and the south west region. The east Midlands and east of England have the lowest overall proportion of new STI diagnoses compared to other regions of England.

Better2Know, who provide home testing STI kits, revealed there has been a 48% surge in demand for kits in the weeks following summer festivals and a 23% hike in positive results in the weeks following the Glastonbury festival in 2017, which is the latest data available.

PHE numbers show new STI diagnoses have soared 5% in England in the last 12 months, but sexual health services are struggling to cope.

In February the Commons health and social care select committee was warned cuts to funding have left local authorities unable to maintain sexual health services and are at a “tipping point”.

Responsibility for sexual health was taken away from NHS England and handed to councils in 2013, which means that since then STI testing and most contraceptive services have been overseen by local authorities.

According to the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) councils last year spent £30m less on sexual health compared to year before, representing a 5% reduction, with recent data indicating a further 3% cut in 2018/19. Over the past four years, planned spending on sexual health services has fallen by £64m, equivalent to 10%.

Local authorities were delivered a further blow in December 2018 when the government announced it would cut the public health budget by £85m.

This comes against a backdrop of rising syphilis and gonorrhoea rates across England. For the first time since the early 2000s syphilis is more common in some EU countries than new cases of HIV.

Reported cases of the STI are up by 70% since 2010, the report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) revealed. And the number of people diagnosed with gonorrhoea rose by 26% in a year.