In 2023, more people had themselves tested for a sexually transmitted infection (STI). The total number of consultations at Sexual Health Centres (SHCs) was 172,113. That represents an increase of 4% compared to 2022. The percentage of consultations during which an STI was found remained stable at 21%. The STI gonorrhoea saw the largest rise in cases, with the number increasing by more than 30% for the second year in a row.

In April 2024, RIVM reported that the rise in gonorrhoea cases – as already seen in 2022 – was persisting. To prevent the spread of STIs, it is essential to continue devoting structural attention to the importance of STI prevention and condom use.


In addition to having themselves tested at an SHC, people can also have themselves tested for STIs by their general practitioner (GP). GPs are estimated to have logged a total of 316,200 STI-related consultations in 2022. This is comparable to the number for 2021 (316,900). The GP figures for 2023 are not yet available. 


The STI detection rate among women and heterosexual men aged under 25 has been increasing since 2019. This has been the case for gonorrhoea in particular. The number of gonorrhoea cases diagnosed at SHCs was much higher in 2023 (13,853) than in 2022 (10,600) – an increase of 31%. The percentages of women and heterosexual men diagnosed with gonorrhoea rose from 2.3 and 2.4% in 2022 to 4.1 and 3.5% in 2023. These are the highest detection rates among women and heterosexual men ever found. The number of gonorrhoea cases diagnosed by GPs also rose in 2022, with the number of infections going up from an estimated 12,700 in 2021 to 14,500 in 2022. 


In 2023, the number of chlamydia cases diagnosed at SHCs was 24,048. That represents a decrease of 3% compared to 2022. The percentage of women with chlamydia dropped from 17.9% in 2022 to 16.8% in 2023. The percentages of heterosexual men and men who have sex with men (MSM) with chlamydia dropped slightly to 19.6% (2022: 21.2%) and 10.2% (2022: 10.9%). The estimated number of chlamydia infections among women diagnosed by GPs increased from 22,500 in 2021 to 24,000 in 2022. Among men, the increase was from 17,100 in 2021 to 18,400 in 2022.


The number of syphilis cases diagnosed at SHCs was higher in 2023 (1,693) than in 2022 (1,574) – an increase of 8%. The percentage of MSM who were diagnosed with syphilis remained the same, with syphilis found for 2.3% of MSM who had themselves tested. The number of diagnoses among women and heterosexual men remained low in 2023, with 38 cases among women and 43 among heterosexual men. 


In 2023, 141 people were diagnosed with HIV at SHCs. This is a comparable number to the year before (144). Of these diagnoses, 122 were among MSM. Around 987 people made their first visit to an HIV treatment centre in 2023, roughly the same number as in 2022. 

PrEP: a drug that prevents HIV

Since August 2019, SHCs have also provided care to people who use pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is a drug that prevents HIV. MSM and other people at higher risk of HIV are able to join a trial, during which they are administered the drug and are tested for STIs at SHCs every three months. By the end of 2023, the PrEP trial had an estimated 8,496 participants. The percentage of participants who tested positive for an STI other than HIV in 2023 was 39.4%.

An infographic with an overview of the key figures is available, as well as a report titled ‘Sexually transmitted infections in the Netherlands in 2023’.