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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-10637: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 August 2017

To ask the Scottish Government how many sexually transmitted diseases have been diagnosed in each year since 1999, broken down by NHS board.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 6 September 2017

A copy of data tables on the major acute sexually transmitted infections diagnosed in Scotland since 1999 by NHS board has been placed under BIB number 59019.

The Scottish Government will chair a meeting of the NHS Sexual Health and BBV Executive Leads on 29 September to discuss the situation of STI infections at board-level and to consider appropriate local as well as national responses.

Note: The data presented are based on laboratory positive diagnoses for chlamydia and gonorrhoea infection, and for infectious syphilis, Health Protection Scotland use an enhanced surveillance system based on clinical and laboratory reporting.

Since 1999, testing technology has improved for both chlamydia and gonorrhoea detection. The implementation of the SIGN 42 guidelines in 2001 (Management of genital Chlamydia trachomatis infection) led to improvements in sampling and the use of nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) which have greater sensitivity and specificity for the detection of chlamydia infection. Similarly, since 2008, NAATs have been increasingly used across Scotland for the detection of gonococcal infection with full geographic coverage by 2012. There has been an increase in detection and thus, diagnoses during this time. Since 2013, however, testing strategy has stabilised and trends since 2013 are more comparable than that with previous years.

Infectious syphilis infection re-emerged in Scotland in the early 2000s and the current data collection system began in 2002/2003. Prior to this, diagnoses were recorded using the genitourinary medicine clinic-based system. Data from 1999 to 2001 indicate there were 12, 22 and 24 diagnoses recorded, respectively.

In addition, as the data tables contain sensitive data, they have been adapted in accordance with National Services Scotland’s Statistical Disclosure Control Policy to prevent deductive disclosure. Thus, where there are values <5, these have been replaced by an asterisk (*); there may also be some secondary masking to prevent revealing values through adding and subtracting in rows and columns, these are also marked with an asterisk.