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"Dramatic" increase in STIs in Dublin in just 12 months

There has been a 72 per cent increase in the number of cases of genital herpes diagnosed at the Dublin Well Woman Centre.

Image: Condoms in a jeans pocket via Shutterstock

THERE HAS BEEN a ‘dramatic’ increase in the number of people testing positive for sexually transmitted infections in Dublin, according to one of the city’s biggest family planning and sexual health clinics.

The Dublin Well Woman Centre said that there has been a 72 per cent increase in genital herpes across its three clinics over the past year

Over the same period cases of chlamydia – the most common STI – jumped by more than one third, and is now at its second highest rate in the past ten years.

The figures may be attributed to an increase in the actual number of cases as well the possibility of people being more willing to go to a doctor about a possible infection than they were in the past.

The most recent figures from the HSE show there were almost 13,000 STIs recorded in Ireland last year. Of these, chlamydia accounted almost half of all cases. Cases of gonorrhoea are at the highest number ever recorded in Ireland, although overall the number of STIs dropped slightly compared to the previous year.

“The dramatic increase in positive results for genital herpes is extremely alarming, as is the fact that while the number of patients being tested by us for chlamydia has increased by 12.5 per cent in 12 months, the number of positive tests has increased by 35 per cent,” said Alison Begas, chief executive of the Well Woman Centre at the launch of the organisation’s annual report.

In the annual report, Begas highlighted a concern about women getting the morning-after pill over-the-counter in pharmacies without discussing their medical history, which she said meant they were “missing out on a holistic sexual health consulation.”

Read: Gonorrhoea hits highest rate ever recorded in Ireland >

Read: Cost of contraception causing some to risk unprotected sex >

Read: Slight drop in STIs – but gonorrhoea at highest figures ever recorded >

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