HIV rates in Lambeth are increasing, with the borough’s STI rates still the worst in London, according to new statisitics.

Lambeth has the highest rates of HIV diagnoses, with 16.4 people per 1000 aged between 15 – 59 diagnosed in 2016 – up from 16.2 in 2015.

Southwark had the second highest rates of HIV diagnoses with 11.5 per 1000 people, diagnosed in 2016.

But Lambeth has the highest rates of HIV testing, with 68.9 per cent of the population tested in 2017 – significantly higher than the England average of 65.7 per cent.

A Lambeth Council spokesman said there was an increased public awareness on HIV in the borough.

“Lambeth also hosts the London HIV Prevention Programme which since 2015 has, whilst focused primarily on HIV, contributed to increased public awareness of the importance of regular testing and condom use to prevent STIs, as part of its award-winning city-wide campaign, Do It London,” he said.

Lambeth also has the highest rates of new STI diagnoses in London, with 3215 per 100,000 people receiving a new diagnosis in 2017, although this has decreased from the previous year.

The City of London had the second highest rates of STI diagnoses, with 3205 per 100,000.

The council spokesman said: “Whilst there has been a decrease in the overall rate of STIs some have increased, including syphilis and gonorrhoea.

“Diagnoses of chlamydia, the most common STI, have decreased by 15% for all ages and by 17% for 15 to 24 year olds, continuing a downward trend.

“Encouragingly, Lambeth continues to have the highest rate of chlamydia screening in 15-24 year olds in London,” he said.

Ruth Hutt, Interim Director of Public Health for Lambeth, said the borough used high-quality testing and treatments for STI diagnoses.

“However, despite these improvements poor sexual health remains a major public health challenge in Lambeth and STIs are still higher than most other local authorities. This report highlights that rates of syphilis are actually increasing in Lambeth and London.

“Tackling poor sexual health remains high on our agenda and we will continue to work with our providers to deliver high quality STI testing and treatment services and accessible prevention and promotion services to improve sexual health outcomes for our residents,” she said.