THE NUMBER OF cases of STIs in Ireland has risen significantly, with gonorrhoea now at the highest rate ever recorded for the country.
The report by the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre found there were 13,259 notifications of STIs in 2011, an increase of just over 12 per cent on the previous year.
Gonorrhoea cases increased by one third (33.4 per cent) to 834 cases, and the incidence rate now stands at 18.2 per 100,000 population – a figure that is significantly higher than the European average (10.4) as well as being the highest incidence recorded in Ireland. Men made up almost 80 per cent of cases.
The report was compiled using data from STI clinics, laboratories, and GPs. Other findings include:
- Chlamydia remains the most common STI accounting for 48.3 per cent of cases last year.
- Genital warts was the second most frequently reported STI at 18.5 per cent.
- Almost 60 per cent of people with STIs were aged between 20 and 29.
- There were 653 cases of syphillis in 2011, a slight increase on the previous year.
- Genital herpes saw the single biggest jump in the number of cases with an increase of 39.8 per cent year on year.
Earlier this year the World Health Organisation warned that a new strain of untreatable gonorrhoea has been found in the United Kingdom and a number of other European countries. The new strain is resistant to antibiotics, the traditional treatment for the infection.