But the number of Aids sufferers continues to rise and there has been a 5 per cent increase in cases of herpes.
Dr Jeremy Metters, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said: 'These figures show encouraging trends. However, there can be no cause for complacency.
'I would urge people to remember that practising safer sex, including using condoms, offers valuable protection against all sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and Aids.'
Gonorrhoea, the second most serious form of venereal disease, has been targeted by the Government under its Health of the Nation strategy, as it is a key indicator in behavioural change related to sexually transmitted diseases.
Dr Metters said the aim had been to reduce cases from 61 per 100,000 of the population aged 15- 64 to 49 per 100,000 by 1995. The target had been met in 1992 when the rate fell to 45 per 100,000 and the trend continued with a further fall to 38 per 100,000 in 1993.
There have been fewer cases of other sexually transmitted diseases and last year chlamydia cases fell by 6 per cent to 33,267 and non-specific genital infection had gone down by 7 per cent to 100,820 cases. Wart virus infection and infectious syphilis showed little change at 84,720 and 337 cases respectively.
Between 1982 and 1994 there were 9,436 reported cases of Aids and 6,388 deaths, with 22,101 reported cases of HIV over the same period.