NEW cases of HIV infection fell slightly in Wales, and the number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) levelled off, according to the latest published figures.

But a public health expert said that while the latest figures, for 2015, are “reassuring” there are some “very concerning” STI trends.

“Young people remain disproportionately affected by STIs. For example our report shows that around one per 1,000 people aged 15 to 24 in Wales were diagnosed with gonorrhoea, three times the rate in the population as a whole,” said Dr Daniel Thomas, an epidemiologist at Public Health Wales.

“Men who have sex with men are also at increased risk of STIs. In 2015, over half of all syphilis and HIV diagnoses, and a third of all gonorrhoea diagnoses were in this group.

“We also remain concerned about late diagnosis of HIV. In 2015, more than a third of individuals diagnosed with HIV in the UK were diagnosed late.

“Every person who is diagnosed late, or remains undiagnosed, represents a missed opportunity for early treatment, and increases the risk of passing the virus on to others.”