The number of sexually transmitted infections in Canberra has reached a five-year high, new figures show.
Data from ACT Health has revealed the number of recorded cases of chlamydia and gonorrhoea has increased each year since 2014, while cases of syphilis are also rising.
The number of gonorrhea cases has nearly tripled in just five years, rising from 119 in 2014 to 333 last year, while instances of syphilis has doubled from 40 to 85 in the same time period.
Chlamydia cases saw a smaller increase, jumping from 1197 five years ago to 1649 recorded cases in 2019.
There were no reported cases of donovanosis during 2019.
ACT chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said the increases seen in Canberra were similar to those seen nationwide.
"There are a variety of reasons for the rise in STIs, however, these are multifaceted and cannot be addressed through a one-size-fits-all approach," Dr Coleman said.
"The ACT government is working closely with local GPs and community organisations to collaboratively identify ways to address the increased rates of STIs, particularly in youth.
"The ACT is concerned, as is every other jurisdiction across the country, because the numbers are trending upwards, which is not a good thing for the community as a whole."
The group most at risk of the infections are those aged between 20 and 29, according to ACT Health.
Dr Coleman said more people getting tested for STIs could be one of the reasons for the rise in recent years.
"An increase of testing may see an increase in recorded cases without an increase in disease burden," she said.
"Through health promotion, the government is trying to increase awareness of STIs, reduce stigma and urge people to have a sexual health test as part of their check-ups with their regular doctor or GP.
"This is particularly aimed at young people who are more at risk but is applicable to all populations."
ACT Health said it was spending $3.5 million each year on funding sexual health services, including testing, treatment and specialised counselling.
Dr Coleman said normalising testing for STIs was a key way for people to reduce the rate of recorded cases.
"It's about changing the attitude to STIs and educating people that STIs are common and often asymptomatic," she said.
"Instead of people avoiding the conversation, being embarrassed or assuming 'it won't happen to me', we are urging people to understand it's a normal part of a check up with a doctor and to factor it in."