Sexually transmitted diseases rocket across all age groups in Scotland


SEXUALLY transmitted diseases across all age groups in Scotland have rocketed by more than 40% in the past decades.

The shocking new figures mean that medics are diagnosing an average of at least 61 new cases every day of the year.

Experts blame the relentless rise on Scots opting to take risks and letting the NHS deal with the consequences – rather than use condoms.

The figures relate to the three biggest STDs – chlamydia, herpes and gonorrhea – meaning that the overall number will be even higher.

It was revealed last week that the numbers of those aged over 45 suffering from STDs had dramatically increased.

But figures for all age groups, released under the Freedom of Information Act by the Information Services Division of the Scottish NHS, show a 43% increase since 2003.

Herpes Virus. Credit: Nephron, Wikicommons
Herpes Virus. Credit: Nephron, Wikicommons

Cases of chlamydia, herpes and gonorrhea have risen over the period from 15,601 to 22,306.

The number of those aged under 25 suffering from the three diseases  rose by 46% in the 10-year period, from 10,355 to 15,135.

Even Scots in the 25 to 45 age group – many of whom have settled down to have families – suffered a 31% increase from 4990 to 6540.

Director of Health and Wellbeing at sexual health charity FPA, Natika Halil, said: “This suggests condom use is on the wane and many people may be relying on treatment rather than prevention.

“Perhaps the high-profile campaigns which drove a significant upsurge in the use of condoms in the 1980s and 1990s have  been forgotten.”

She added: “However, it is also important to remember that diagnosis rates increase as awareness and testing increases, which has certainly happened over the last decade in Scotland.

“It is important that the Government keeps diagnosis and reduction of STIs as a priority and ensures people have access to sexual health services and high quality education and information about sex and relationships.”

The largest increases were seen in herpes and gonorrhea, while chlamydia remained the most commonly contracted disease with 17,615 diagnosed with it in 2012.

Overall the number of those diagnosed with gonorrhea rose from 808 in 2003 to 1884 in 2012 – an increase of 133%.

While the number of those suffering from herpes rose by 116%, from 1300 in 2003 to 2807 to 2012.