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There's been a surge in Irish Chlamydia cases

Cases increased by a third last year.

Image: Shutterstock/Sebastian Kaulitzki

LAST YEAR CASES of Chlamydia in Ireland increased by 32%.

This comes from new figures released as part of an annual report by the Dublin Well Woman Centre.

The organisation found that there were 253 cases of the infection recorded by its three branches in 2014 – up from 172 the year before.

This is the second highest figure reported by the centre in the past 13 years.

What else was found?

A big jump in the number of women presenting for Chlamydia tests was also found.

The centre tested more people than ever in 2014, with 5,042 checks carried out across its clinics.

It was also found that there was a 27% year-on-year increase in the number of women using long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs), a type of contraceptive that is fitted in place for an extended period of time and does not require maintenance from the woman using it.

In 2014, 1,117 of the LARCs were fitted by the centres.

Speaking about the devices, Dr Shirley McQuade, medical director with the Dublin Well Woman Centre, said, “LARCs are highly effective, have minimal side effects, and are a ‘fit and forget’ solution to contraception.”

Another trend identified by the centre was a decline in the number of women taking free smear tests. The centre saw a peak of almost 10,000 tests taken in 2009, a figure that dropped to 7,198 last year.

What should happen now?  

Speaking about the results, Alison Begas, chief executive of the Dublin Well Woman Centre, called for the standardisation of testing nationwide to help deal with the prevalence of certain STIs.

“These results highlight the need to expedite publication of the National Sexual Health Strategy. The Well Woman Centre takes a proactive approach in promoting the availability and importance of testing, however we are only one service provider… these diseases are becoming more prevalent, and we need action from the HSE now,” she said.

Read: These teenagers have invented condoms that change colour if you have an STD

Also: The HSE is about to buy up half a million condoms

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