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Sharp rise in gonorrhoea

There has been a further leap in the incidence of gonorrhoea, despite a Government pledge to reduce the number of cases by 25 per cent between 2001 and 2007.

Preliminary surveillance data from the Health Protection Agency showed the number of laboratory-diagnosed gonorrhoea infections in England and Wales rose by 8 per cent in 2003. The incidence of gonorrhoea – the second most common sexually transmitted infection – has shot up by 106 per cent in England and Wales since 1996.

Dr Trevor Stammers, a part-time GP in Wimbledon and senior lecturer in general practice at St George's Hospital Medical School, said he would expect further increases. 'It's a worrying trend,'

said Dr Stammers, who has a special interest in sexual health.

'Unless the Government pays more attention to modifying behaviour, it's not going to go away.'

Data from Scotland showed rates of infection levelling off since a 57 per cent rise between 1999 and 2000.

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