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LONDON, Jul 27, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Britain's Health Protection Agency says rates of sexually transmitted infections increased 4 percent last year in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The agency said the most common sexually transmitted sickness, chlamydia, increased by 9 percent during 2003, the Independent reported Tuesday.
However, the agency also said the rate at which new folks contracted sexual diseases was slowing. For example, new cases of gonorrhea fell by 3 percent from the year earlier level.
Every year about 700,000 Britons are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease, with numbers rising rapidly during the 1990s.
Rising rates have been blamed on several factors: complacency over the use of condoms; people having more sexual partners; and delays in receiving treatment because of long waits at genital-urinary medicine clinics.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.