STIs On the Rise in Iceland Skip to content

STIs On the Rise in Iceland

Cases of syphilis and gonorrhoea continued to increase in Iceland in the first half of 2020, despite gathering bans and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A bulletin on infectious diseases from the Directorate of Health says the two sexually transmitted infections “continue to be of particular concern,” and that men are the “driving force” behind their spread.

In the first six months of 2020, 43 individuals were diagnosed with syphilis, a significant increase compared to previous years. The vast majority, or 91%, were men, and almost half were Icelandic citizens.

Gonorrhoea is also on the rise, with 68 individuals diagnosed between January and June of this year, an increase from previous years. Most, or 69%, were men, and 81% were Icelandic citizens.

Chlamydia remains the most widespread sexually transmitted infection in Iceland. In the first six months of 2020, 834 individuals were diagnosed with the infection, a number similar to previous years. Women represented slightly more than half of cases, or 56%. Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist noted earlier this year that while increased social distancing and hygiene had brought down the number of influenza and stomach flu cases in the country, the same was not true for STIs.

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