Figures show cases of sexually transmitted infections on the rise in Stevenage and North Herts

STI infections are on the rise in Welwyn Hatfield and Hertfordshire. Stock pic

STI infections are on the rise in Welwyn Hatfield and Hertfordshire. Stock pic - Credit: Getty Images/Hemera

The number of cases of the sexually transmitted infection chlamydia are the on the up in Comet country, Government data has revealed.

Public Health England shows that cases of the infection in both Stevenage and North Herts have risen since 2012.

Comparable chlamydia statistics for 2009-2013 are not available, but data shows chlamydia cases in the town in people between 15 and 24-years-old in 2012 was 451, which rose to 533 in 2013.

In North Herts chlamydia cases within the same age group in 2012 were 154 with the figure rising to 213 last year.

But in Central Bedfordshire chlamydia cases in the same age bracket fell, with 357 reported in 2012 compared 349 in 2013.

The newly released data shows that in 2013 there was just over 1,000 new sexually transmitted infections diagnoses in Stevenage and just over 600 in North Herts.

Overall rates for Hertfordshire are rising and there are increases in some infections such as gonorrhoea.

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Hertfordshire County Council recently approved a five year sexual health plan and has pledged to tackle the increase.

Teresa Heritage, cabinet member for public health, said: “Hertfordshire County Council want to ensure all young people and adults have easy access to high quality services and information in order to stay healthy and know how to protect their sexual health. We have reviewed our current services and we are now redesigning services to improve accessibility.

“We encourage sexually active under 25-years-olds to get tested for chlamydia and provide condoms from our C-card scheme. There are now 74 screening sites in Stevenage and 58 sites in North Herts, resulting in 2,117 tests taking place in 2013. This increase in testing may explain the slight increase in chlamydia diagnoses.”

? Sexually transmitted infections are preventable by using condoms. If you think you might be at risk of an infection sexual health clinics offer testing.

Early identification and treatment can significantly reduce the risk of catching or passing on an STI.

There are drop-in clinics at the Park Drive Health Centre, in Baldock, Bedford Road Health Centre, Hitchin, and at Kingsway Clinic, Stevenage.