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aidsIn 2018, Gateshead had the third highest prevalence of diagnosed HIV-infected patients in the North East (1.51 cases per 1,000 population) [Chart - HIV diagnosed prevalence]. The recommended threshold to implement routine HIV screening for all general medical admissions as well as new registrants in primary care is two cases per 1,000 population among 15-59 year-olds. The rate in England overall is 2.37. There were 13 new HIV diagnoses in Gateshead in 2018. [Chart - New HIV diagnosis rate].[1]

In Gateshead between 2016 and 2018, 38% of HIV diagnoses were made at a late stage of infection compared to 42% in England [Chart - HIV late diagnosis].[1]

Among genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic patients from Gateshead who were eligible to be tested for HIV, 63.5% were tested in 2018. This is similar to the England average of 64.5% and continues a downward trend in Gateshead over the last decade [Chart - HIV testing coverage].[2]

In 2018, there were 1,230 new STIs diagnosed, a rate of 608 per 100,000 residents. This is similar to the rate in the North East of 639, but lower than the England rate of 784 [Chart - New STI diagnosis].[2]

teenagerSTIs disproportionately affect young people. When those aged under 25 who are diagnosed with Chlamydia are removed from the overall diagnosis indicator mentioned above, there are just 825 STIs diagnosed [Chart - New STI diagnoses excluding chlamydia aged <25], meaning that more than a third (405) of new STIs being diagnosed are cases of chlamydia in people aged under 25.[2]

PHE recommends that local areas should be working towards achieving a chlamydia diagnosis rate of at least 2,300 per 100,000 in the 15 to 24 year old age group and this is now an indicator in the Public Health Outcome Framework. The diagnosis rate reflects both coverage and the proportion testing positive (at all sites, NHS and non-NHS). In 2018, the chlamydia diagnosis rate for the 15 to 24 year old age group in Gateshead dropped to 1,668 per 100,000 residents. This rate is below the target, and is significantly worse than the national average of 1,975 and the regional average of 1,815 per 100,000 [Chart - Chlamydia detection].[3]

Chlamydia Diagnoses 15-24 year olds

The diagnostic rate of gonorrhoea is a marker of the level of risky sexual activity. In 2018 Gateshead was better than the national average with 77.1 diagnoses per 100,000 people, compared with the England average of 98.5. [Chart - Gonorrhoea diagnostic rate].[2]

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends methods of long-acting reversible contraception (injections, implants, the intra-uterine system and intra-uterine device) in preference to pills and condoms. As injections rely on repeat visits and administration throughout the year and have a higher failure rate than other LARC methods, it is helpful to consider the prescription of LARC excluding injections. The rate of GP-prescribed LARC per 1000 resident female population aged 15-44 years is lower in Gateshead (22.1) than in England as a whole (29.2) [Chart - GP prescribed LARC excluding injections].[4] However, the rate of prescriptions from other sexual and reproductive health services is significantly higher in Gateshead (25.7 per 1000) than it is in England overall (18.2) [Chart - SRH services prescribed LARC excluding injections].[5]

See also: under 18 conceptions and abortions in 'Teenage Parents'

[1] HIV and AIDS Reporting System - HARS, PHE, 2018 (Sexual & Reproductive Health Profiles website)

[2] GUMCAD STI surveillance system, PHE, 2018 (Sexual & Reproductive Health Profiles website)

[3] GUMCAD and CTAD STI surveillance systems, PHE, 2018 (Sexual & Reproductive Health Profiles website) 

[4] PHE/ONS/NHS Business Services Authority, 2017 (Sexual & Reproductive Health Profiles website)

[5] HSCIC, 2017 (Sexual & Reproductive Health Profiles website)

Last modified on 6th December 2019

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