New Zealand's syphilis and gonorrhoea rates 'significantly' increasing

Sexually transmitted infections syphilis and gonorrhoea are on the rise in New Zealand, "concerning" health authorities.  A surveillance report released by ESR this week showed syphilis rates were "steadily" increasing and gonorrhoea cases "significantly" spiked.  There were 548 syphilis cases in the 12 months ending March 2019, with Auckland accounting for nearly half (245). 

Syphilis rates increased more than 560 per cent in the past five years — up from 82 cases in 2013. In the 12 months to March, Canterbury saw 60 cases, Wellington had 55, and Waikato had 50.  The vast majority were of European/Other ethnicity (359), followed by Māori (122). Most were in men aged 20-39. 

Syphilis was most commonly reported in men who had sex with men (MSM). However, in recent years there had been a "concerning" increase in cases in heterosexual people, the report showed.

The report showed gonorrhoea rates had also increased "significantly" since 2017, most commonly in men aged 20-29 and women aged 15-29.  In the year ending March 2019 there were 117 cases per 100,000 people, up from 99 in the 12 months to December 2017.  Māori and Pacific people have higher gonorrhoea rates than other ethnic groups, the data showed.  Read more via Stuff