January 20, 2011
The number of cases of the sexually transmitted disease, Chlamydia trachomatis, has increased by 25 per cent, according to the latest annual report from the Irish Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC). In the 10-19 age group the increase was almost 40 per cent. Chlamydia infection is a major cause of female infertility. Some 6,300 Chlamydia infections were identified in Ireland in 2008, the latest year for which complete figures for sexually transmitted infections are available.
Chlamydia notifications constituted 55.7 per cent of all sexually transmitted infections (STI) reported in 2008 and represent an increase of 25.2 per cent over 2007 rates. More cases were notified among females than males and almost two-thirds of cases were reported in the 20-29 year old age group.
The HPSC annual report for 2009 also shows an increase of 6.5 per cent in the number of cases of gonorrhoea, accounting for 4 per cent of all STIs reported in 2008. Females were five times more likely than males to have gonorrhoea, with the infection again most common in 20 to 29 year-olds. HIV and AIDS figures for 2009 are also contained in the latest report. There was a small decrease in the number of new HIV diagnoses, while 33 new AIDS cases were identified in 2009.
However, the report cautions that due to the voluntary nature of reporting of HIV, the numbers probably represent an underestimate. Health Protection Surveillance Centre. December. The Irish Times. December 28. Evening Herald. January 4.