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Navigating the Sexual Health Crisis


Hey there! Let’s talk about a hot topic in England right now: the challenges facing sexual health services. It seems like more people are getting gonorrhoea and syphilis, and this is putting a lot of pressure on health clinics. In this article, we’re going to break down what’s happening, why it’s happening, and how we can fix it.

Condom, safe and sexual intercourse couple using protection for hiv, sti and std health safety. Clo

The Situation is Heating Up

In simple terms, there are a lot more cases of gonorrhoea and syphilis in England than there used to be. Local councils, who run these health clinics, are saying they’re really struggling to handle all these cases. Since 2017, the number of infections has gone up a lot in most areas.

A Shout for Help

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents these councils, is basically saying, “We need help!” They want the government to step in with more money and a solid plan to tackle these sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

What’s Causing This?

To fix a problem, you need to understand it. So, let’s look at why these infections are on the rise.

COVID-19’s Side Effects

The COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot of things, including how people interact. With lockdowns and restrictions, sexual health took a hit. Once things started to open up again, there was a sudden increase in infections. But it’s important to know that this problem was already growing before the pandemic.

More Testing, More Cases

There’s been a push to test more people for STIs, which is great for catching infections early. But this also means clinics have more cases to deal with.

Solutions on the Horizon

Money Talks

The first step is getting more funding. The government’s health department has already given over £3.5 billion to public health services this year, but clinics need more to keep up with the demand.

A Plan for the Future

We also need a long-term plan from the government. This should focus on preventing STIs, educating people, and making sure everyone can get the healthcare they need.


So, that’s the deal with the sexual health crisis in England. It’s a big issue, and the government needs to act fast with more funding and a solid long-term plan. This way, we can protect our sexual health and stop this problem from getting worse.

Couple having sex

FAQ Section

Q1: What are gonorrhoea and syphilis?

A: Gonorrhoea and syphilis are sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Gonorrhoea is caused by bacteria and can affect the genitals, rectum, and throat. Syphilis, also caused by bacteria, can present in stages with various symptoms, including sores and rashes.

Q2: Why are these infections increasing in England?

A: The rise in infections is due to several factors. There was a dip in sexual health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to less testing and treatment. After restrictions eased, there was a sudden increase in people seeking services. Also, better testing means more cases are being identified.

Q3: How can I protect myself from STIs?

A: The best ways to protect yourself are to practice safe sex (use condoms), get regular STI screenings, and have open conversations with your sexual partners about your sexual health. Remember, many STIs don’t show symptoms immediately, so regular check-ups are important.

Q4: What should I do if I think I have an STI?

A: If you suspect you have an STI, visit a sexual health clinic as soon as possible for testing and treatment. Early treatment can prevent complications and reduce the risk of spreading the infection to others.

Q5: Are these infections curable?

A: Yes, both gonorrhoea and syphilis are curable with antibiotics. However, it’s important to complete the entire course of treatment and avoid sexual contact until you’re cleared by a healthcare professional.

Q6: What is the government doing to help?

A: The government has allocated significant funding to public health services and is being urged to provide additional financial support. A long-term strategy is also needed to focus on prevention, education, and improving access to healthcare services.

Q7: How can I access sexual health services?

A: You can access sexual health services through local clinics, your general practitioner (GP), or dedicated sexual health websites that offer advice and clinic locations. Many services also offer anonymous testing and support.

Q8: Is there a vaccine for these STIs?

A: Currently, there are no vaccines for gonorrhoea or syphilis. Prevention through safe sex practices and regular testing is the best approach.

Q9: Can these infections cause long-term damage?

A: If left untreated, both gonorrhoea and syphilis can lead to serious health issues, including infertility and damage to the heart, brain, and other organs. Early detection and treatment are key to preventing long-term complications.

Q10: Are STIs only a concern for certain age groups?

A: STIs can affect anyone who is sexually active, regardless of age. It’s important for all sexually active individuals to be informed, practice safe sex, and get regular health check-ups.

Sources BBC