The number of reported cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Ireland has soared in the first three months of this year. More than 54 per cent more cases are now being reported than a year ago. The number of HIV cases reported rose by almost 90 per cent!
The figures from the Irish Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) cover the first thirteen weeks of the year 2022, and show a huge increase in most STIs compared to the same period in 2021.
The number of HIV diagnoses rose by almost 90 per cent from 79 to 150 and the number of gonorrhoea cases increased by more than 73 per cent from 393 to 680. The number of reported chlamydia cases rose from 1,519 to 2,330, an increase of more than 53 per cent, and the number of syphilis cases increased by more than 27 per cent, from 188 to 239 cases.
Decline in STIs in 2020
The number of reported STIs in Ireland initially fell at the start of corona in early 2020, but rebounded in 2021, but not yet to pre-corona levels.
The HSE, Ireland’s National Institute of Public Health, says the huge increase in the first quarter of 2022 is partly because corona measures have been abandoned. The health institute expects sexual activity “to have returned to pre-pandemic levels, which will result in an increase in the number of people needing or wanting STI testing,” a spokeswoman said. HSE also expects more testing now that the corona crisis is over. “We expect that more testing will lead to more diagnoses.”
Online STI tests
Last year, as part of the Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme in Ireland, HSE introduced a pilot for online testing for STIs. The organisation worked with STI clinics in Dublin, Cork and Kerry. “Up to the end of March 2022, almost 64,000 STI test kits have been sent out,” says the spokeswoman. “During the pilot phase, from January to May 2021, 57 per cent of users had never had contact with sexual health services before. This suggests that the ability to test online makes it more accessible to take an STI test.”
STI doctor consults and STD tests
At HelloDoc Health we help many people with testing, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and sexually transmitted diseases (STD). To help you check your symptoms due to a possible STI/STD, we have created an article which describes the symptoms and consequences of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). You can find the STI symptoms article HERE.
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