Iceland has the highest number of Chlamydia cases per capita among women aged 18 to 25 in Europe.
The Landspítali National University Hospital. Photo copyright Icelandic Photo Agency.
“The situation regarding sexually transmitted diseases in Iceland is alarming,” commented senior physician at the skin and STD division of the Landspítali National University Hospital.
According to Fréttablaðið, an increase in cases of STDs has been recorded since last year. Baldur stated he is concerned because many women don’t know that they have the disease and infect others.
“Five percent of 18 to 25-year-olds have chronic Chlamydia without knowing it. We have the highest number of cases per capita in Europe,” Baldur continued, adding that if left untreated, the disease can result in reproductive problems.
In 2012, there were 1,893 cases reported. In her research carried out 2004-2005, epidemiologist Laufey Tryggvadóttir found that one in every fifth woman born after 1973 had herpes. “Risky sexual behavior is always increasing among Icelandic youth,” Laufey said, adding that young Icelandic women have more sexual partners than their counterparts in the other Nordic countries.
The fact that Iceland has the highest number of recorded cases of the diseases may point to low rates of condom usage but could also point to an effective monitoring system in the country, Fréttablaðið reports.
Guðrún Sigmundsdóttir, senior physician at the epidemiology division of the Directorate of Health, questions whether Iceland really has the highest number of cases per capita. “I seriously doubt that we are really the European Masters in Chlamydia, though we do see this many cases.”