Sexually transmitted infections are a growing public health problem. In its latest bulletin, the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) warns of an increase in gonorrhea cases among the heterosexual population, mainly among young people.
According to their data, between 2022 and 2023 several countries have reported an increase in the number of heterosexual people affected by gonorrhea. It is the case of Netherlands, which experienced a 33% increase in gonorrhea cases detected in 2022 compared to 2021. The increase was greater in women (1,458 cases in 2022 compared to 831 cases in 2021). The positivity rate also went from 1.5% to 2.3% in that period. For heterosexual men this rate also rose from 1.8% in 2021 to 2.4% in 2022. The upward trend is also being observed so far in 2023.
An increase has also been reported in Denmark, with 3,928 cases reported in 2022 compared to 2,807 in 2021. The increase has been 44% in heterosexual people, compared to 26% in homosexuals. According to their data, this increase is associated with the drop in restrictions imposed by the pandemic, less condom use and an increase in the number of sexual partners.
Norway, Ireland and Finland have also reported an increase, a trend that Spain does not escape either, although in this case the data refers to the period between 2019 and 2021.
Between those two years, the ECDC bulletin points out, there was an 18% rise in reported cases of gonorrhea, reaching figures of 32.41 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. In May 2023, the document underlines, the Murcia region detected an increase in men and women, with the highest incidence in the group ranging from 20 to 24 years of age.