Chlamydia remained by far the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted disease (STD) in Iceland in the first half of this year, according to a report on communicable diseases issued by the Icelandic Directorate of Health, reports mbl.is. Also of note were an increase in syphilis diagnoses and decreases in gonorrhoea and HIV infections.
The number of diagnosed cases of chlamydia remained high in the first six months of the year, as in previous years. Of those diagnosed this year, 303 were men and 433 women.
Meanwhile, the number of diagnosed cases of syphilis in the first five months of the year was a lot higher than it has been in recent years. So far this year, 23 people have been diagnosed with syphilis—16 men and seven women—compared with a total of six cases in 2014 and 13 last year.
Although quite a few people were diagnosed with gonorrhoea in the first six months of the year, the number was down from the previous year. Men still comprised the majority of diagnoses this year, or 20, while 13 women were diagnosed with the disease over the same period.
The communicable disease report noted that gonorrhoea’s resistance to treatment by antibiotics is a growing problem around the globe. Fortunately, however, antibiotic-resistant strains of gonorrhoea are yet to make their way to Iceland.
The number of people diagnosed with HIV during the first six months of the year dropped in comparison with last year and was closer to previous years. Of the eight people diagnosed with HIV this year, three were men who had sex with men, three were intravenous drug users and two were heterosexuals. Seven of the infected were men, according to the report.
In March, Minister of Health Óttarr Proppé appointed a working group to look into ways to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS in Iceland. The working group has consulted with representatives of HÍV-Iceland, LGBTQIA association Samtökin 78 and various others who work on STD prevention efforts in Iceland. The group is expected to submit proposals to the Minister this autumn on measures to combat the spread of STDs.