Press Article03/03/2010

Fewer people being tested for STIs

The number of people being tested for sexually transmitted diseases at a specialist clinic in Scunthorpe has fallen to its lowest level since December 2008.

The Department of Health said 267 people were admitted to the GUM (genito-urinary medicine) clinic in Cliff Gardens, part of Scunthorpe General Hospital, compared with a high of 494 in July last year.

Health chiefs said a 22% drop on November's figures in December 2009 was due to a "care-free" Christmas period.

A spokesman for Scunthorpe General Hospital said: "Traditionally December figures do tend to dip and then they pick up again in January. This might be because people are out enjoying themselves over the Christmas and New Year festivities and it is only in January when they think to seek help or advice regarding their sexual health."

A total of 250 people were tested at the Sexual Health Centre in the town.

The centre had begun a weekly drop-in service in November for people aged 20 and under, to try to prevent a dip in the numbers being tested over Christmas and New Year.

Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and herpes are the top three most common STIs respectively.

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