21% increase in Chlamydia levels in Dublin according to new figures released by Dublin Well Woman Centre Christmas party goers warned to practice safe sex as festive season gets underway – 13 December 2012
Levels of chlamydia, the bacterial sexually transmitted disease, have risen by 21% in Dublin in the past year , according to new figures released by the Dublin Well Woman Centre.
As of the end of October 2012, 227 positive chlamydia infections had been diagnosed by the Dublin Well Woman Centre in its three centres. This surpasses full year totals for each of the last three years – 187 in 2011, 220 in 2010 and 219 in 2009.
In line with national trends, the figures also show that two-thirds of all positive chlamydia tests are in the 20 to 30 year age group, indicating that young people are engaging in risky sexual practices or not taking appropriate protective measures.
The Dublin Well Woman Centre is today taking the unusual step of highlighting concerns about the rise in chlamydia in a bid to warn people to be extra careful during the continuing Christmas party season.
Dr Shirley McQuade, Medical Director of the Dublin Well Woman Centre, says correct use of a condom will prevent the transmission of chlamydia. “If diagnosed early, chlamydia can be treated with a course of antibiotics. If left undiagnosed, it can lead to chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women, and to orchitis (testicular inflammation) in men. It is important to be aware that many people can have the infection and have little or no symptoms, making it all the more important that they discuss their sexual health concerns with a family planning doctor or
their G.P. It is also important that testing is readily accessible.
“Chlamydia is primarily a young person’s infection so it is very concerning that this infection is on the rise considering the amount of public health resources that have gone into promoting a ‘safe sex’ message in recent years. It is also important that young people remember that while over the counter availability of Emergency Contraception will help prevent an unplanned pregnancy, it won’t stop the transmission of sexual diseases. Only a condom can do this.”
However, Dr McQuade also warned that even correct condom use will not protect against other sexually transmitted infections which are also highly prevalent in young people. “It’s worth remembering that someone with chlamydia has risked exposure to other sexually-transmitted infections, like herpes and genital warts, which may not be so straightforward to treat,” she said.