Search icon


05th May 2023

New figures show worrying rise in STI cases among teenagers in Ireland


They are higher than last year.

New figures have shown that there is a rise in sexually transmitted infections among teenagers in Ireland this year.

A total of 783 people under the age of 19 have been diagnosed with an STI, with the HSE stats show two children under 14 have been infected. The others were aged between 15 and 19.

So far this year, there have been 8,092 people diagnosed with an STI which is an increase of 70% from the same period last year.

STIs remain most prevalent among 20 to 24-year-olds and they account for over a third of cases this year.

STIs have also shown to be common in older age groups as 227 people in their 50s have been diagnosed as well as 91 people over 65.

The most prevalent STI this year has been chlamydia trachomatis which accounts for over half of cases, with 4,611 people being diagnosed.

The NHS describes chlamydia as a bacterial infection which is passed through sex or contact with infected genital fluids (semen or vaginal fluid).

It is most common in teenagers and young adults who are sexually active.

Those under 25 who are sexually active are encouraged to get tested for chlamydia once a year regardless if they use condoms or not.

The next most common STI is gonorrhoea, with 2,326 cases. This is an infection caused by bacteria that live in warm, moist parts of the body such as the throat, rectum, penis and vagina.

Gonorrhoea can lead to infertility if untreated, regardless of gender.

307 people in Ireland have been diagnosed with HIV this year, with 290 positive for syphilis.

The HSE offers free STI test kits which are free to order and can be sent directly to your home in discreet packaging.

SH:24 offers a free STI test to anyone who is aged 17 or over to their home or to any other valid postal address in Ireland.

Once doing the test at home, you will receive a text a week or so later with your results, and if positive for an STI, they will further assist you in getting it treated.

It is important to note that this at home test only tests for chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis, for a HIV test it is best to contact your GP or a sexual health clinic directly.

Related links:

High pollen count on the way as doctors highlight difference between hay fever and a cold

HSE issues shingles warning – here are the symptoms to look out for

Public hospital in-patient fees will be scrapped from today