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The rate of gonorrhea in Northern Ireland has more than doubled over the past two years Photo by: Google Images

Medics warn gonorrhea at record levels in Northern Ireland

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The rate of gonorrhea in Northern Ireland has more than doubled over the past two years Photo by: Google Images

The rate of the infection 'uncomplicated gonorrhea' in Northern Ireland has more than doubled over the past two years, from 200 new cases in 2010 to 451 in 2012.

According to Ulster Television, new syphilis and HIV diagnoses have also increased in recent years.

Doctor Neil Irvine, a Health Protection Consultant with the Public Health Agency (PHA) said: 'The increase has been seen in both heterosexuals and in men who have sex with men.

'This would suggest that the newer, more sensitive tests introduced in recent years are showing that prevalence was higher than previously thought.

'However, there is also likely to be increased transmission due to unsafe sex, given that infectious syphilis and HIV diagnoses have also increased in recent years.'

Gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted infection, can enter the bloodstream or spread to the joints if left untreated.

The PHA added that there is a growing worldwide problem of gonorrhea becoming resistant to antibiotics.

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