The number of consultations for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at Sexual Health Centres (SHCs) was higher in the first half of 2023 compared to the previous year. Notably, the number of gonorrhoea cases continues to rise. This uptick in gonorrhoea cases, initially observed in 2022, persisted in 2023, as evidenced by the latest Sexual Health Monitor. This presents data for the first half of 2023.

In total, there were 89,386 STI consultations in the first half of 2023, marking a 12% increase from the first half of 2022.

Continued rise in gonorrhoea cases

The increase in the number of gonorrhoea diagnoses, which began in 2022, continued in the first half of 2023. Women and heterosexual men in particular contracted gonorrhoea more often. Among women, this STI was diagnosed 1,248 times, an increase of 38%. Among heterosexual men, there were 478 cases of gonorrhoea, marking a 20% increase.

The detection rate – the percentage of people tested for gonorrhoea who actually had the infection – also increased further. In the first half of 2023, the detection rate was 3.7% among women and 3.2% among heterosexual men. In the first half of 2022, these percentages were 1.8% among women and 2% among heterosexual men.

Gonorrhoea more prevalent among young, highly educated people of Dutch origin

Gonorrhoea was more prevalent among women and heterosexual men under 25, individuals of Dutch origin and those with a high level of education. The increase in gonorrhoea cases led RIVM and the Municipal Public Health Services to call for extra attention to this STI and safe sex during student orientation activities in the summer of 2023.

About the Sexual Health Monitor

The Sexual Health Monitor is a half-yearly report on the most important figures and trends relating to STIs and sexual health in the Netherlands. These figures come from SHCs. RIVM analyses the figures before publishing the report.