What you need to know about the most common sexually transmitted diseases in Norway

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Despite a somewhat declining trend for certain diseases such as HIV and gonorrhea, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are still a significant matter of concern in Norway, a report from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) notes. 

The fear of sexually transmitted diseases is looming large in Norway, with several STDs registering an increase in recent years. 

According to the data published by the FHI, despite the trend of decline in HIV and gonorrhea cases, all other major sexually transmitted diseases are increasing across the country.

Most common STDs in Norway

In its 2019 Annual Report on Sexually Transmitted Infections, the FHI highlighted the developments for five major diseases.

1. HIV 

According to the report, there was a trend of decline in reported HIV cases, especially among men who have sex with men (MSM) infected while living in the country. 

“There is still a stable, low HIV incidence among people who take drugs with syringes, among Norwegian-born women, and among young people. 

“MSM and heterosexual men traveling abroad, especially to Southeast Asia, are still the most vulnerable to HIV infection,” the report states.

2. Gonorrhoea 

The report also notes that a similar decreasing trend was reported in terms of gonorrhea cases. 

Following years of continuous increase, the incidence of gonorrhea among MSM decreased somewhat last year. 

However, gonorrhea continued to increase in 2019 among heterosexual women and men. 

Among women, the number of reported cases has increased tenfold in 10 years, and among heterosexually-infected people, more cases are now detected among women than men. 

The situation in Norway follows an international trend where gonorrhea is increasing sharply in many Western countries, the report adds.

3. Syphilis 

The diagnosed cases of syphilis decreased to a certain extent last year. “

“Most MSMs are still infected through casual sex in Oslo, but the development in recent years with more infections in the rest of Norway, especially in larger cities such as Bergen, Trondheim, and Stavanger or on holiday trips to European cities, continues,” the report warns. 

According to the FHI, MSM with an immigrant background and HIV-positive people are more prone to syphilis infection. 

Among heterosexual women and men, the incidence of syphilis is now significantly higher than ten years ago but has remained relatively stable in recent years. 

The last case of congenital syphilis was reported in 2003.

4. Chlamydia 

The number of cases of chlamydia in Norway increased last year. 

In 2019, 28,466 cases were diagnosed, 534 per 100,000 inhabitants, marking an increase of 6.6% from last year, and the highest observation so far. 

An increase in cases of chlamydia was observed in the age group 20-24 years last year. 

“The number of people tested in 2019 was 386,978, an increase of 6.3% from 2018. 

A total of 7.8% of those who were tested were diagnosed with chlamydia infection in 2019,” the FHI report notes.

5. Lymphogranuloma venerum 

According to the FHI, lymphogranuloma venerum (LGV) is a sexually transmitted infection caused by infection with a different serotype (L1, L2, L3) of the chlamydia bacterium (Chlamydia trachomatis) than the common chlamydia infection. 

“The National Institute of Public Health has had monitoring data for LGV available since 2012. 

“The number of reported cases annually has varied from 13-44. In 2019, 27 cases of LGV were reported in Norway, compared with 44 cases in 2018. All cases in 2019 were among MSM,” the report concludes.

Source: Norway Today


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