STIs are increasing every year, with reports of more and more people seeking tests and treatment for these infections. Young people aged 15 to 24 tend to be the group in which sexually transmitted infections are most prevalent, especially bacterial infections like chlamydia.
Overall statistics indicate that STIs are more likely to affect people in deprived areas within large cities, although these infections are still a risk to anyone who is sexually active, regardless of age, gender or socioeconomic circumstances.
Chlamydia is still one of the most common STIs in the UK and it might be even more common than statistics suggest. This is due to its asymptomatic nature, meaning that people do not know they are infected, and so an exact figure of infected individuals is not calculable.
Over the last decade there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people diagnosed, from 60,000 people in 2000 to 160,000 people in 2010. Worryingly, this number is still increasing.
Gonorrhoea is also a common bacterial STI although it's not as prevalent as chlamydia. The number of people with the infection is increasing and there are worries that this could be due to the fact that the bacteria that causes the infection is becoming less responsive to conventional methods of treatment.
The infection tends to be more common in men, however this may be due to the fact that men are more likely to experience symptoms and therefore are more likely to be tested and receive treatment.
Genital herpes is a viral infection that is becoming increasingly common. Experts believe this is due to the fact that young people are showing changes in their sexual behaviour. This has lead to an increase in oral sex and a decreased immunity to the HSV-1 virus, which is responsible for cold sores, although genital herpes is still most commonly caused by the HSV-2 virus.
Since the year 2000 there has been a steady increase in the number of people being diagnosed with this infection, from 70,000 in 2000 to 100,000 in 2010.
Genital warts are more common than people realise and the infection is one of the most widespread in the UK. Statistics have shown a significant increase in people over the age of 45 over the last decade. In 2009 the number of people diagnosed with genital warts showed a slight decrease, however numbers have since shown an increase.
Not many people are aware of bacterial vaginosis, but it is actually quite common and may occur alongside infections like chlamydia. Over the last decade, diagnosed cases of this infection have more than doubled.
Infections like mycoplasma genitalium, ureaplasma urealyticum, trichomonas vaginalis, syphilis and non-specific urethritis have all shown an increase since 2000, but syphilis in particular has recently becoming a matter of concern in the UK.