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More people got tested

by Redaktie in Health & Body , 23 August 2014

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

In 2013, more people were tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI) at Dutch STI clinics than in previous years. Although the percentage of people with an STI showed a slight decrease (0.4 per cent) for the first time since 2007, it remained high at 14.7 per cent. Effective STI monitoring remains essential for the identification of relevant trends, emerging STIs in high-risk groups, and the effectiveness of prevention programmes.

STI clinics offer high-risk groups access to free testing for STI and provide care and treatment if an STI is diagnosed. The total number of consultations in 2013 was 133,585, an increase of 10% compared with 2012. In 2013, STI clinic attendees with an STI were mainly people who reported having been notified of their possible exposure to STI, people aged 20-24, people originating from areas in which STI/HIV is common (e.g. Africa, South America or Eastern Europe), and men who have sex with men (MSM).


With 15,767 cases, chlamydia remains the most commonly diagnosed STI in 2013. The percentage of people diagnosed with chlamydia was slightly lower in 2013 than in 2012 (11.8 versus 12.2 respectively). Chlamydia was primarily diagnosed in heterosexuals younger than 25 years old and in both men and women. Following the increase in the number and percentage of lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV; an aggressive variant of chlamydia) infections in 2012, these numbers declined to a level comparable to previous years in 2013.


Whereas the percentage of people with a gonorrhoea infection slightly had increased in previous years, the percentage remained stable in 2013 (3.4 per cent) compared with 2012 (3.6 per cent). Gonorrhoea was mostly diagnosed in MSM. It remains important to monitor the resistance of the gonorrhoea bacteria against the antibiotic currently recommended in the Netherlands, a third-generation cephalosporin. A rising rate of resistance to this antibiotic has been observed in several European countries.


The number of people diagnosed with HIV at STI clinics in 2013 was similar to that of 2012 (358 versus 356 respectively). Among MSM, the percentage of positive HIV tests decreased from 3.0 per cent in 2008 to 1.4 per cent in 2013. The percentage of HIV-positive people who were diagnosed at a late stage of the infection has decreased in previous years. Early diagnosis and treatment of an HIV infection is important because of individual health benefits and the potential reduction of HIV transmission.



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