The sexual health map of our cities

A detailed survey of sexually transmitted diseases shows that Camden in north London is the capital of chlamydia
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Indy Lifestyle Online

A remarkable breakdown of England's sexual health, detailed for the first time here in this map, shows a startling spread of diseases around the country, with high concentrations of infection around ports and in inner cities.

The map, produced using a borough-by-borough breakdown of sexually transmitted diseases around England, charts the rise of diseases such as chlamydia and genital warts and shows big rises across the country.

The figures show that the London borough of Camden is also the chlamydia capital of England, while Liverpool leads the country in genital warts. The breakdown reveals near epidemic levels in some areas.

Camden had 2,491 diagnoses of chlamydia, which can cause infertility in women. Sheffield had 2,310 cases and Westminster 1,684. Outside London, Liverpool had among the highest recorded rates at 1,973. Other port cities also showed dramatic increases. In Portsmouth, 1,876 people were identified with the disease, a sharp rise from 410 in 1997.

The figures also show alarming levels of genital warts, with 1,000 cases diagnosed in Leeds. In affluent Kensington and Chelsea, there were 888 cases.

Cases of syphilis, thought to have been on the verge of eradication in the early 1990s, have also increased. Gonorrhoea is less prevalent, while herpes levels vary.

Andrew Lansley, the Conservative health spokesman, who obtained the break-down, said he was planning a public consultation into how to tackle rising levels of sexually transmitted diseases: "This is the human cost of the Government failure to promote public health. Urgent action is required."

A Department of Health spokesperson said tackling STDs was a priority. "We are investing record amounts in sexual health." This, the spokesperson said, included chlamydia screening and promoting condom use.

Spreading fast

Figures from genitourinary clinics throughout England show a sharp increase in the number of diagnoses of sexually transmitted diseases. Chlamydia was the most widespread infection, with high levels of genital warts recorded by the Department of Health in many areas. Some patients were diagnosed with multiple infections. Across England there was an overall rise in the number of infections since 1997, but inner-city areas and ports tend to have a far greater number of diagnoses.

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