23 June 2023, by Victoria Séveno

According to data published by the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM), the Netherlands saw an increase in cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in 2022, particularly cases of gonorrhoea and chlamydia.

RIVM records notable increase in cases of STIs in 2022 

While the Netherlands generally records a slight annual increase in STI diagnoses every year, figures shared by the RIVM on Thursday reveal that last year saw a notable increase not only in the number of people tested for STIs by the municipal health services (GGD), but also in the percentage of tests that came back positive. 

Last year, the GGD carried out 164.715 STI consultations, with 21 percent of tests coming back positive. This marks a notable increase compared to 2021, when around 20 percent of the 138.000 tests carried out came back positive. 

Following the outbreak of coronavirus in 2020, the GGD saw a significant decrease in the number of STI consultations – although this figure has been rising again since 2021. Interestingly, the RIVM’s figures from 2022 also show an increase compared to 2019, when one in five of the over 150.000 people tested by the GGD were diagnosed with an STI.

Cases of gonorrhoea and chlamydia rise by over 20 percent

The data reveals that cases of gonorrhoea and chlamydia saw the most notable increases, with diagnoses of each STI rising by 33 and 21 percent respectively compared to 2021. Overall, 10.600 gonorrhoea diagnoses and 24.684 chlamydia diagnoses were recorded last year.

Talking to NOS, the RIVM’s Birgit van Benthem explained that gonorrhoea cases have become “remarkably much more common, also among young heterosexual couples.” Cases of other STIs also increased last year; syphilis diagnoses rose from 1.398 to 1.574, while HIV diagnoses rose slightly, from 138 in 2021 to 144 in 2022.

While these figures give a solid picture of the country’s sexual health, the figures for STI tests carried out by GPs – who conduct the majority of STI consultations – are yet to be released.

Thumb: Krakenimages.com via Shutterstock.com

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