Increasing gonorrhoea and syphilis worries health authorities

Hand with condoms in bedHand with condoms in bed.Photo: Sara Johannessen / SCANPIX

In ten years, the number of gonorrhoea and syphilis cases rose more than tenfold. At the same time, antibiotic resistance is increasing, and health authorities are concerned.

It is especially in the group of men who have sex with other men where a strong growth of the two sexually transmitted diseases has been recorded said a report from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

From 2017 to 2018, there was a decrease in syphilis among both heterosexual men and women, and the figures are low. Only nine heterosexual women were diagnosed with syphilis in Norway last year and 17 heterosexual men.

Among men who have sex with men, a total of 205 people were diagnosed with syphilis last year, 30 more than the year before.

Must change behaviour

At the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, however, they’re also concerned about the development of gonorrhoea. The disease is easily transmitted and can have serious consequences for both women and men. Like syphilis, the bacterium can be transferred to children during childbirth, but can easily be avoided by using condoms.

There is also an increase of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea, which is exacerbated by the increase in the disease.

“The increase in gonorrhoea and syphilis among men who have sex with men is worrying” said Senior Adviser, Øivind Nilsen of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, who believes that persons with a risk must change behaviour.

Over 1,000

Since the 1990s, when on average 30 cases of gonorrhoea were detected annually among men, the figure last year was 1,017 cases among men who have sex with men. But also among heterosexuals there is a marked increase in gonorrhoea showed the overview from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

It is especially in the counties of Østfold, Oslo, Oppland, Rogaland and Sogn og Fjordane that much of the increase last year was recorded.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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