Concern has emerged about the rise in the numbers of men and women who are being diagnosed with the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhoea. Between 2011 and 2012, there was a 33pc increase in notifications.
An examination of a group of infected patients found that, among gay men, the ages ranged from 19-56 years. Seventy-six per cent were 25 years of age or older. The majority attended an STI clinic, with only 12pc diagnosed by their GP.
Cases in heterosexuals were significantly younger, with a median age of 23 years in females and 29 years in males, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre reported.
Gay men are a well recognised group at risk of gonorrhoea and a range of health promotion materials on sexual health have been developed by the Gay Health Network and HSE. Information is available at www.man2man.ie.
For young heterosexuals, the HSE Health Promotion unit and the Dublin AIDS Alliance will focus on the risks of unprotected sex. It also emphasised the need for regular routine screens following unprotected sex with new or concurrent partners.