HIV cases up by 75% this year, HSE report finds

Burden of sexually transmitted infections born by young people and gay men

A significant rise in syphilis, and smaller increases in genital herpes and chlamydia, are reported in the HSE’s annual report on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for last year

A significant rise in syphilis, and smaller increases in genital herpes and chlamydia, are reported in the HSE’s annual report on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for last year

 

The Health Service Executive is reporting a sharp increase in the number of people diagnosed with HIV, as well as in the number of syphilis cases.

There were 128 cases of HIV in the first three months of the year, compared with 73 in the same period last year, according to the latest weekly report. This is an increase of 75 per cent.

Provisional figures for the whole of 2015 show a 33 per cent rise in cases, according to the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

Meanwhile, a significant rise in syphilis, and smaller increases in genital herpes and chlamydia, are reported in the annual report on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for last year.

The number of syphilis cases in Ireland rose 22 per cent last year, with four out of five cases reported among men who have sex with men (MSM), according to the HPSC. All but 10 of the 249 cases reported were in men, and rates of infection in the eastern region were twice the national average.

The HPSC said safer sex practices and regular testing are key to the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, which accounted for almost half of all infectious disease notifications last year.

First outbreak

Chlamydia was the most common STI, up 2 per cent with almost 7,000 cases reported last year. Women accounted for a narrow majority of cases.

Cases of genital herpes increased 3 per cent to 1,275.

The first outbreak in Ireland of sexually transmitted enteric infection, involving contact with faeces, was reported in 2015.

A team of experts was established to investigate cases of shigellosis among MSM and measures were put in place to control the outbreak. Five cases were reported this year.