THE number of people suffering sexually-transmitted infections has increased in Cumbria and Lancashire.

New figures from Public Health England (PHE), released on Tuesday, reveal incidences have increased by six per cent overall across the two counties, while both herpes and gonorrhoea have gone up by 13 per cent each.

“It is concerning to see an increase in the rates of gonorrhoea and herpes in Cumbria and Lancashire, which suggests that the safer sex message isn’t getting through to everyone,” said Daisy Ellis, acting policy director at HIV and sexual health charity, Terrence Higgins Trust.

“This is a further reminder that the current approach to sex education in schools is not fit for purpose, leaving too many young people unprepared for the pressures of modern relationships.”

The figures are for 2013 and show an overall increase from 2012.

However, in that period chlamydia decreased by eight per cent and syphilis decreased by 22 per cent.

Dr Catherine Lowndes, consultant scientist in PHE’s STI surveillance team, said: “Sustained efforts to encourage people to regularly get checked for STIs means we are now finding and treating more infections, which is good news.

“Nevertheless these data show too many people are still getting STIs each year, especially young adults and gay men.”