Thursday, 23 May 2024
TechGonorrhea increases by 48%, syphilis by 34% and chlamydia by 16% in...

Gonorrhea increases by 48%, syphilis by 34% and chlamydia by 16% in Europe

MADRID, (EUROPA PRESS) – The number of cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) reported in Europe during 2022 has experienced a “worrying increase” compared to the previous year with 48 percent in cases of gonorrhea, 34 percent for syphilis and 16 percent for chlamydia, according to the 2022 annual epidemiological report on STIs published by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Specifically, in 2022, 70,881 cases of gonorrhea were diagnosed in 18 countries of the European Union (EU), with an incidence of 17.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. These figures represent an increase of 48 percent compared to the 2021 figures and 59 percent compared to 2018. In addition, the highest infection rates occur in young people between 20 and 24 years old and in homosexual men , which represent 60 percent of the cases detected.

“In men who have sex with men we have seen a gradual increase in many STIs over the last decade or so. And, in women and in men who become infected through heterosexual transmission there have been some increases before, but really the biggest increase is what we see in the last year, above all we have seen a particularly large increase in gonorrhea,” declared the ECDC’s main expert on sexually transmitted infections, Lina Nerlander, during the press conference this Thursday. .

The countries that have presented the highest percentage of gonorrhea cases are Ireland, with 75.3 percent, Luxembourg, with 73.6 percent, Denmark, with 66.9 percent, and Spain, with 48. 3 percent, all of them are above the European Union average.

Regarding diagnosed cases of syphilis, the report reveals that, in 2022, a total of 35,391 cases have been detected in 29 EU countries, with an incidence rate of 8.5 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants, thus representing an increase of 34 percent compared to 2021 and 41 percent compared to 2018. Likewise, detection rates are eight times higher in men than in women, especially between 25 and 34 years of age. 74 percent of the cases detected are in homosexual men.

Among the countries with the highest rates of syphilis are: Malta, with a rate of 24.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, Ireland and Spain, with 16.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and Denmark, with 11.5 cases for every 100,000 inhabitants.

On the other hand, chlamydia cases have increased by 16 percent in 2022 compared to 2021, with a total of 216,508 cases of chlamydia detected in 27 EU countries, and with an incidence rate of 88 cases per 100,000 inhabitants . The highest rates occur in women between 20 and 24 years old, with an increase of 18 percent in this group compared to the previous year.

The countries with the highest rates of chlamydia infection in 2022 are: Denmark, with 708.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, Norway, with 539.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and Iceland, with 492.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. In this STI, Spain has low figures compared to other countries, 62.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Additionally, cases of lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) and congenital syphilis (caused by transmission from mother to fetus) have also increased substantially.

These trends underscore the “urgent need to act immediately” to prevent new transmissions and mitigate the impact of STIs on public health. Thus, the ECDC has insisted on the need to promote “greater awareness about the transmission of STIs”, as well as “improve prevention, access to testing and effective treatment to address this public health challenge.” “.

NEED FOR MORE TESTING, TREATMENT AND PREVENTION

In this context, ECDC Director Andrea Ammon has expressed her “deep concern” about the increase in STI rates, stating that “addressing the substantial increase in STI cases requires urgent attention and concerted efforts.”

“Testing, treatment and prevention are at the heart of any long-term strategy. We must prioritize sexuality education, expand access to testing and treatment services, and combat the stigma associated with STIs. Education and awareness are vital to empower people to make informed decisions about their sexual health,” he declared during the press conference.

Thus, the director has urged all citizens “to take proactive measures to protect themselves and others, such as using condoms, taking tests before or after having unprotected sexual relations, and seeking immediate treatment.” if they suspect they have an infection”, as well as healthcare professionals to “engage in an open dialogue with patients and inform them about preventive measures”.

As part of the measures to address this situation, the director of the ECDC has announced that, during this year, a program will be launched to “better understand the policies and practices in force in the Member States, in order to have a better vision of the situation in this region and see in which countries existing efforts need to be improved. In addition, the ECDC has started a special investigation and has asked member states to present anticipated data for 2023.

For her part, the ECDC’s main expert on sexually transmitted infections, Lina Nerlander, explained that “many STIs can be had without having any symptoms” and that, therefore, testing is key because “if more tests are done, more are detected.” “But increased testing is not everything. This increase may also be due to changes in other factors, such as sexual behavior and condom use,” she added.

In this sense, he highlighted that “more studies are needed to better understand the behaviors, sexual networks and strains of gonorrhea that spread in different sexual networks.”

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