Sexually transmitted infections rising fast in Netherlands; HIV positive diagnoses decrease

More and more people are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease in the Netherlands, according to a report by national health service RIVM. The number of gonorrhea and syphilis diagnoses increased significantly among gay men last year. Chlamydia is the most common STD among women and heterosexual men. HIV positive diagnoses decreased.

A total of 143,139 people went to a Sexual Health Center to be tested for a STD last year, 5 percent more than in 2015. And 18.4 percent of them were indeed diagnosed with a STD, compared to 17.2 percent the year before. 

Gonorrhea and syphilis is an increasingly large problem among men who have sex with other men. The number of gonorrhea diagnoses at Sexual Health Centers among this group increased with 13 percent to over 6 thousand diagnoses last year. Syphilis increased even more - 30 percent to over 1,200 diagnoses. 

The increase in Chlamydia diagnoses in the Netherlands started in 2013, and that trend continued last year. The number of Chlamydia diagnoses increased by 11 percent last year. Most of those infected were women and heterosexual men. Two thirds of the cases involved young people under the age of 25.

HIV diagnoses decreased, as in the last couple of years. Last year 285 people heard the news that they were HIV positive, 93 percent of them were gay men.