A sexual health chief has warned Britain and its citizens of a possible gonorrhoea outbreak once lockdown is lifted and people return to their lives.
British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) President Dr John McSorley called on the public to take advantage of lockdown to get themselves tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STD) as that will help curtail any potential outbreak.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Britain hit its worst rates of STDs since the Second World War. As people’s social and sex life reduced drastically during lockdown, the number of those using sexual health clinics fell by 85 per cent across the country.
Gonorrhoea cases in the UK rocket by 249% in the last ten years
UK hotspots where STIs are on the rise due to super resistant gonorrhoea But that figure started soaring again once rules were loosened up, MyLondon reports.
“There are a lot of similarities between Covid and STIs. The notions of social distancing and isolating have been in sexual health for a long time,” Dr McSorley said.
“We are on our way back to where we were a year ago. As we open society up again we can expect more gonorrhoea and syphilis.
Dr John McSorley called on the public to get themselves tested during lockdown to help stop the spread of STDs
“People are rebounding back to living a normal life as they can and that includes a safe and entertaining sex life. “About 80 to 90 per cent of people have seen their sexual activity reduced in the last year.”
The clinics where Dr McSorley works in West London have seen a dramatic rise in people using services. The clinics in Harrow, Ealing and Brentford have seen a five per cent increase week on week.
Dr McSorley added:
“They have seen a slow and controlled increase in clinics ..“The bigger problem is long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). It is the area that requires the greatest action.”
LARC, which includes items such as the coil and implants, is an alternative to birth control such as the contraceptive pill and condoms.
Due to the pandemic sexual health clinics have not been able to offer routine coils or implant fittings causing a huge backlog in London. The backlog has led to concerns women will not be able to get essential contraceptive treatments.