HealthExpress News Thursday June 6, 2013

Birmingham named STI hotspot of Britain

We all know that sexually transmitted diseases are rife in most UK cities, but new data has revealed the extent of this endemic. The data, which was generated by our database here at HealthExpress, can help experts draw important trends while providing interesting insights into the world of STIs. This can help further research and increase awareness for STIs in general.

In all regions of the UK, chlamydia was by far the most commonly treated STI, with gonorrhoea and genital warts closely behind. The data, which was taken from 5,000 UK consultations, also suggests a general rise in the number of reported STI’s since the 1990s, with the figure for chlamydia increasing three fold from 1996-2005.

Dr. Hilary Jones, Chief Medical Advisor for HealthExpress, has added his thoughts on the national survey:

“For the last two decades, the number of reported STIs has continued to increase, despite further education drives to teach us how to have safe sex”

Now, let’s look more closely at the data.

The UK- wide survey revealed that Birmingham has the highest number of people seeking treatment for STIs. Now labelled as the STI hotspot of the UK, Birmingham were followed by residents from East London, with Glasgow locals coming a close third.

Region Number of people seeking treatment for STI’s
Birmingham 142
East London 129
Glasgow 127

Glasgow may be third in the national data but in Scotland’s STI survey, it tops the table by quite some distance:

Region in Scotland Number of people seeking STI treatment
Glasgow 127
Edinburgh 80
Aberdeen 53

If we examine the statistics in more depth, we can draw localised conclusions. In Yorkshire, for example, Sheffield is significantly leading the way in terms of STI consultations followed by Leeds and then Doncaster:

Region in Yorkshire Number of people seeking STI treatment
Sheffield 101
Leeds 68
Doncaster 46

Further still, we can investigate residents in Essex to show STI prevalence rates in the region:

Region in Essex Number of people seeking STI treatment
Chelmsford 50
Romford 45
Rochester 39

European Data

As well as investigating UK wide statistics, we can also use our database to generate a Europe wide STI survey. Based on 3,500 consultations, Sweden can be classified as the STI capital of Europe, as they sought the most advice for symptoms of STIs. German residents were found to be the second most likely to catch an infection with British locals a close third.

European STI hotspots
1. Sweden 2. Germany
3. United Kingdom 4. Poland
5. France 6. Spain
7. Italy 8. Denmark
9. Switzerland 10. Austria

Our data also reveals a substantial increase in STI prevalence rates in general. The most noteworthy rise was experienced in Sweden with a 38% upsurge in chlamydia and gonorrhoea cases in recent years. So, why has Sweden encountered such a considerable rise in STI cases?

Experts think this may be caused by governmental legislation. In Sweden, it is a legal requirement that people inform their previous sexual partners if they are diagnosed with an STI. Dr. Hilary concurs, adding:

“With the stringent rules in their country, it may be we are seeing a knock on effect of Swedish people seeking treatment for STIs after they have been told by a partner they are infected. Although some may view the country’s rules as “draconian”, having legislation which protects people from infection could help other countries within the EU dent the rising STI figures.”

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