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Fall in the number of cases of gonorrhoea in London for first time in seven years

Find out which London borough has the highest rate of STIs

The bacteria which causes gonorrhoea(Image: Getty Images)

The number of new cases of gonorrhoea in London dropped for the first time in seven years.

Prior to the 19% fall in the number of new diagnoses of gonorrhoea, the capital had seen a year-on-year increase in the Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) since 2009.

A report from Public Health England also showed that STIs remain a significant problem in London, which has a 79% higher rate of new diagnoses than any other part of the country.

Of the top 20 local authorities with the highest rates of new STI diagnoses, 17 were in London.

Lambeth had the most new cases diagnosed of any local authority in 2016, with 3,228 per 100,000 population, more than four times the average for England.

Kensington and Chelsea has the fourth highest rate of STIs in the country, with the Royal Borough seeing 2,730 diagnoses of new cases per 100,000 population in 2016.

Westminster was the fifth highest in the country with 2,269 and Hammersmith and Fulham was sixth with 2,173.

Rates of Gonorrhoea have been increasing since 2009 but fell in 2016(Image: BBC)

Overall, in London there was a 5% drop in the number of new diagnoses for STIs in 2016 with 117,600 compared with 123,800 in 2015.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, regional director for PHE London, said: "London has turned the tide on an eight-year surge of gonorrhoea with overall rates of STIs decreasing.

"This encouraging news could show that work to promote frequent testing together with safe sex practices is paying off. This means people are using condoms and are regularly being tested.

Public Health England recommends having yearly tests as well as every time you change sexual partners(Image: Coventry Telegraph)

"However, the data comes with a note of caution. Poor sexual health remains a public health problem in London and STIs are still too high compared to other parts of the country, with rates of syphilis and chlamydia actually increasing.

"Tackling poor sexual health remains high on the agenda for PHE London and we will continue to work with our partners to deliver effective public health interventions to improve sexual health outcomes across the capital."

Public Health England recommends that Londoners get tested for STIs every year and when changing sexual partners, as well as getting re-tested after a positive chlamydia diagnosis.

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