Consultations and STI clinic attendees:
In 2011, a total of 113,180 persons were tested at one of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics in the Netherlands. This was 8 percent more than in 2010. STI clinics offer easily accessible diagnosis and additional curative care to high-risk populations. There were especially more consultations by men who have sex with men (MSM) in 2011, an increase of 11 percent compared with 2010. One or more STIs were found in 14 percent of the attendees (in 20 percent of MSM and in 13 percent of heterosexual attendees). These figures are comparable with previous years. 3,005 men and 11,282 women came in for a Sense consultation.
The number of infections increased again in 2011, as well as the positivity rate (n=12,913 respectively 11.5 percent). More than half of the infections were found in clients younger than 25 years. Of the total heterosexual attendees, 12 percent had a chlamydia infection compared with 15 percent in the group of heterosexuals younger than 25 years.
The number of gonorrhoea infections as well as the positivity rate (n=3,575 respectively 3.2 percent) increased compared with 2010. No third-generation cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhoea strains have been found in the Netherlands yet. However, an increasing number of strains less sensitive to antibiotics have been detected. Therefore, monitoring of resistance remains important in case adjustments of treatment advice are necessary.
In 2011, there was a further decrease in the number of new diagnoses of infectious syphilis and the positivity rate in comparison to 2010 (n=476 respectively 0.4 percent). This slight downward trend has been going on for several years. MSM accounted for 90 percent of all infectious syphilis diagnoses.
The number of new HIV diagnoses, as reported in the Dutch HIV treatment centres, has fluctuated in recent years around 1,100 (in 2010: 1,090). In 2011, 812 new HIV diagnoses were reported (incomplete due to reporting delay). In 2010, in the same period, the number was 825. The number of positive HIV tests in the STI clinics was 415, an increase of 11 percent compared with 2010. However, the proportion of positive HIV tests at the STI clinics remained stable (0.4 percent). Since 2010, all STI clinic attendees have been tested for HIV, except those who explicitly refused, known as opting-out testing. In 2011, 2 percent of all STI clinic attendees not knowing their HIV status refused an HIV test. Among those MSM known to be HIV-positive, 30 percent were diagnosed with one or more STIs in 2011.