7% increase in sexually transmitted infections in Ireland in 2018


Sexually transmitted infection (STI) notifications in Ireland increased by 7% in 2018 compared to 2017. Latest HPSC provisional data show that the common bacterial sexually transmitted infections gonorrhoea and chlamydia were up 7% and syphilis infections were up 22%. As these are preliminary figures, they may change when more details become available later this year.

Two main groups were affected: young people (aged 15-24 years) and men who have sex with men (MSM).

In 2018, nearly half of all chlamydia, one third of gonorrhoea and 39% of herpes cases were in young people.

Where information on how the infection was transmitted was available, approximately 4 in 5 syphilis cases and almost two thirds of gonorrhoea cases were in MSM.

Correct and consistent use of condoms for vaginal, anal and oral sex will reduce the risk of catching and passing on an STI. It is important to get tested for STIs regularly, particularly when changing sexual partners or after sexual contact with overlapping partners.

Information on free sexual health services in Ireland, as well as further advice on preventing STIs, is available at https://www.sexualwellbeing.ie/ and http://man2man.ie/ (MSM specific resource).

The slide set of provisional 2018 STI data is available on the HPSC website.