Which cities have the highest rate of STIs in the UK

Student cities have topped the league table for the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections.

As part of Sexual Health Awareness Week, which starts on September 16, Fresh Student Living has complied a study into the sexual health of the UK to reveal some of the countries biggest STI hotspots and the most commonly found types.

Eight of the top ten cities with the most STIs in the country are popular student cities, with chlamydia and gonorrhoea being the two most diagnosed illnesses.

Taking the top spot for the poorest sexual health is the City of London, which has an STI rate more than ten times higher than Bradford, the city with the fewest cases in the country.

Cities with the highest number of STIs per 100,000 people:

  1. London – 5,319 cases
  2. Westminster – 1,660 cases
  3. Southampton – 1,170 cases
  4. Manchester – 1,143 cases
  5. Brighton – 1,138 cases
  6. Portsmouth – 1, 043 cases
  7. Nottingham – 1, 042 cases
  8. Salford – 1,007 cases
  9. Liverpool – 1,005 cases
  10. Leeds – 988 cases
  11. Newcastle – 912 cases

The most common STIs are chlamydia and gonorrhoea, with the highest number of cases in the City of London, at 2,535 cases per 100,000 people.

Cities with the lowest number of STIs per 100,000 people:

  1. Worcester – 335 cases
  2. Cambridge – 422 cases
  3. Exeter – 423 cases
  4. Norwich – 444 cases
  5. Canterbury – 447 cases
  6. Oxford – 461 cases
  7. Bath – 466 cases
  8. Wakefield – 479 cases
  9. Durham – 480 cases
  10. Bradford – 491 cases

Chlamydia is the most prominent STI in eight of the ten cities with the fewest number of STIs overall, followed by genital warts, which impacts five of the ten cities analysed.

However STIs aren’t completely off the UKs radar, despite our poor sexual health, STIs the UK has been most curious about in the last year include chlamydia, genital herpes, scabies, trichomoniasis, syphilis, public lice, HPV and gonorrhoea . UK cities performing the most searches for info on STIs and their symptoms include:

Place Top STI Google Search
Leeds chlamydia
Liverpool gonorrhoea
Manchester HPV
London syphilis
Edinburgh HPV
Birmingham HPV
Sheffield herpes
Glasgow chlamydia
Bristol herpes
Cardiff herpes

Dating and hanging out took a nosedive between March and May as the UK followed social distancing during peak lockdown. Coincidentally, as restrictions eased and people started mingling again, Google searches for certain STIs skyrocketed.

Searches for chlamydia plunged by 78% during peak lockdown (March-May) compared to the previous three months, but then skyrocketed by 109% post-lockdown (June – August).

The STI that received the most Google searches during peak lockdown was HPV, which rose by 39% between March-May compared to the three months before.

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