On the Agenda: HPA takes action on gonorrhoea

The number of cases of gonorrhoea diagnosed in England leapt by 25 per cent in 2011, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has reported.

HPA action plan: Gonorrhoea cases on the increase
HPA action plan: Gonorrhoea cases on the increase

In more detail
The HPA last week published the first Gonorrhoea Resistance Action Plan for England and Wales, which recommended a heightened national response to combat the rise in diagnosed cases of this sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Gonorrhoea is the second most common bacterial STI, with new diagnoses rising to 21,000 in 2011. More than a third of cases were in men who had sex with men, while just under a third of overall cases were recorded as repeat infections. The action plan raises awareness that gonorrhoea strains that are resistant to regular treatment through antibiotics are spreading throughout the world.

PR strategy
The HPA briefed relevant national and specialist journalists. It worked closely with the Terrence Higgins Trust and the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV. The HPA also worked with the Department of Health to include a statement from chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies within its release, ahead of her report into infections and antimicrobial resistance.

Media coverage
The news made the lead story on BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat and BBC online. It was also covered in the Daily Mail, The Independent, Daily Mirror, The Sun, Metro and in medical titles, as well as by the Press Association.

Number of diagnoses of gonorrhoea in England in 2011*

Percentage rise of reported gonorrhoea cases in England in 2011*
Source: Health Protection Agency

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