Big increase in cases of syphilis and chlamydia

There has been a sharp rise in the number of people in Belgium that have become infected with the STDs syphilis and chlamydia in recent years. That’s according to figures released by the Federal Health Minister Maggie De Block (Flemish liberal). More efficient detection methods, but also a chance in sexual behaviour are said to be behind the increase.

Between 2003 and 2015, the number of detected cases of syphilis went up eightfold from 239 to 1,893. Homosexual men formed a large portion of those infected by the sexually transmitted disease.

Meanwhile there was a fourfold increase in the number of cases of Chlamydia from 1,518 in 2003 to 5,968 in 2015.
Much, but by no means all, of the increase can be accounted for by better detection.

Although the number of syphilis and chlamydia infections has risen sharply over the past few years. The number of HIV infections has remained stable. Each year an additional 1,000 people in Belgium find out that they are HIV+.

Ms De Block told journalists that the lion’s share are homosexual men and heterosexual men and women from Sub-Saharan Africa.