Sexual health clinics across the country are sounding the alarm about a surge in the number of cases of gonorrhoea, according to a statement from the Statens Serum Institut.
In 2016, there were 1,993 cases of gonorrhoea reported, compared to 1,637 cases reported in 2015. Between 2011 and 2015, the average number of cases was just 952.
According to Steen Hoffmann, a specialist in clinical microbiology and a consultant at Statens Serum Institut, part of the explanation for the increase is simply that better tests for venereal diseases have been developed.
More being infected
Better tests and methods of calculation are not the entire answer, said Hoffmann. A large part of the explanation is that more and younger people are being infected.
“What we see from 2012 onwards is that there are more younger patients being diagnosed with gonorrhoea,” Hoffmann told BT.
“Previously, gonorrhoea was mostly a man’s disease, and it was especially prevalent in the gay community. With the sexual revolution and the advent of the birth control pill, there was no reason to use condoms anymore.”
Pharyngeal gonorrhoea – gonorrhoea of the throat – is especially dangerous, because there few symptoms and it is difficult to detect. People are also less prone to discussing their oral sex habits with their doctor.