A CORK doctor is highlighting the importance of regular screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
It comes as new data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) shows a significant number of STIs have been reported in the Cork and Kerry region so far this year.
The data shows, 373 STIs have been notified in the Health Service Executive’s Southern region (Cork and Kerry) since the beginning of the year.
A breakdown of the data shows this includes 255 cases of chlamydia trachomatis infection, 57 cases of gonorrhoea, 39 cases of herpes simplex (genital), seven cases of syphilis and 1 case of trichomoniasis. Of note, 14 cases of HIV have been reported.
National data from the HPSC shows that there has been a significant increase in the number of STIs being reported annually with 15,122 STIs reported across the country last year, up from 13,047 the previous year, representing an increase of 2,075.
Dr Martin Davoren, Executive Director of the Sexual Health Centre in Cork said while great work is being done to promote sexual health, that people need to ensure that they are accessing regular screening whether they are coming out of a relationship, or starting a new one.
“People could have an STI and be asymptomatic, they could be carrying an STI and have no symptoms. You may believe yourself to be healthy, and that you don’t have an STI and so you won’t transmit it.
“We say for every new partner or relationship people should have an STI screening,” he said Dr Davoren said it is also important that people have a conversation with their partner about screening. “Talk to your partner about it. If you are open from the get go, people appreciate that,” he said.