The number of clients tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at Dutch STI clinics has increased since 2004. The percentage of clients with at least one STI (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, hiv, hepatitis B) increased from 12.3 per cent in 2004 to 15.5 per cent in 2014. General practitioners, who carry out the majority of STI consultations in the Netherlands, report a similar upward trend. As in previous years, chlamydia was teh most frequently diagnosed STI, according to the RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment report 'Sexually transmitted infections including HIV, in the Netherlands in 2014’.

In 2014, the total number of consultations at the STI clinics was 141,191; an increase of 6 percent over 2013. The percentage of clients diagnosed with at least one STI was higher in 2014 (15.5 per cent) than in 2013 (14.7 per cent). In 2014, this percentage was highest among persons who had been notified of their possible STI exposure by a (former) partner and among known HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM).


Chlamydia

The percentage of STI clinic attendees diagnosed with a chlamydia infection increased from 11.8 per cent in 2013 to 12.6 percent in 2014 (17,753 diagnoses). The largest increase was observed among heterosexual men (from 12.8 percent in 2013 to 13.9 percent in 2014). Chlamydia was primarily diagnosed in women and in heterosexual men below 25 years of age (15.6 per cent diagnosed with chlamydia). The percentage of positive tests among MSM has been stable at around 10 percent for years.

Gonorrhoea

The percentage of STI clinic attandees with a gonorrhoea infection has remained stable since 2012. In 2014, the overall percentage of positive tests was 3.6 per cent (4,594 diagnoses). Gonorrhoea is over four times more common in MSM than in women and heterosexual men. Increased resistance to the antibiotics prescribed to treat gonorrhoea infections has been observed in several European countries, but not yet in the Netherlands. It remains important to closely monitor antibiotic resistance.

Syphilis

Syphilis is mainly diagnosed in MSM: 93 percent of 742 syphilis diagnoses at the STI clinics in 2014. The percentage of MSM diagnosed with syphilis slightly increased from 2.0 percent in 2013 to 2.3 percent in 2014. This increased was greatest among known HIV-positive MSM: from 5.8 percent in 2013 to 6.6 percent in 2014. Among all MSM with syphilis was 41 per cent known HIV-positive.

HIV

In 2014, the number of new HIV diagnoses decreased by 9 percent (323 cases in 2014 versus 358 cases in 2013) at the STI clinics. Almost 90 per cent of the HIV infections were diagnosed in MSM. The percentage of new HIV diagnoses decreased from 3.0 percent in 2008 to 1.1 percent among MSM in 2014. The number of new HIV diagnoses at the Dutch HIV treatment centres also declined (from 1,311 in 2008 to 992 in 2013).