Less gonorrhoea in London could be thanks to PrEP

The rate of gonorrhoea diagnoses in London has dropped dramatically in the past year.

Gonorrhoea diagnoses have dropped by 24% at the United Kingdom’s largest sexual health clinic – 56 Dean Street in London.

Professor Sheena McCormack of the clinic revealed the results at the IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris.

There was only about 1000 new cases in the last quarter of 2016, compared to 1600 in the last three months of 2015.

The decline in gonorrhoea comes at the same time as a 42% drop in new HIV notifications.

McCormack was not sure why the drop in cases was happening, but it could be because of the increase of HIV and STI testing, especially for men who take PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis).

PrEP is a HIV preventative treatment. Its users – particularly those who are on PrEP trials – are tested regularly when they pick up their prescriptions.

While there has not been a drop in chlamydia cases, McCormack it could be because chlamydia has a longer incubation period than gonorrhoea. Therefore it could be missed by tests.

Sorry naysayers

Brent Allan of Living Positive Victoria in Australia said the news could have wide-ranging implications in other countries. Allan also argued these results could help silence people who were cynical about PrEP.

‘There has been this dialogue around (PrEP), that ‘yeah, sure it protects you from HIV, but what about STIs?’,’ Allan told Gay Star News.

‘Some of the data from London is actually…

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