STD cases drop by 1 percent in U.K.

New research from Britain's Health Protection Agency (HPA) shows that the number of reported STD cases has fallen by 1 percent, marking the first significant decline in more than a decade, according to The Andover Advertiser. The exact reason for this drop isn't exactly known, but experts speculate that it can be attributed to a variety of factors, whether that's increased condom use, testing or education.

"The decreases in STIs that we saw in 2010 are small, but very significant," Terrence Higgins Trust chief executive Nick Partridge told the publication. "We're finally beginning to see a slowing down in the rates of infections, particularly among young people, showing that the time and money that has been put into sexual health, and in particular chlamydia screening, in recent years is starting to pay off."

While the number of common STDs may have fallen, he emphasized the need to keep the effort to fight the infections going, both through funding and spreading the message in local communities.

Despite this success, the HPA noted that chlamydia rates for people under 25 was hardly changed, indicating that some conditions are dropping while others continue to spread.

In the United States, sexual health as been put at risk by rising chlamydia rates. In 1997, there were 537,904 reported diagnoses of the disease, a rate of 205.5 people per 100,000, according to Avert.org. By 2009, that total had almost doubled to 1,244,180 cases. Each year since the statistics have started being recorded in 1984, chlamydia cases have gone up.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that using a a new condom every time during sex can significantly reduce the risk that one will get an STD.  

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