Cases of chlamydia are on the rise in Iceland, and the country remains first in Europe for instances of the STD.
Vísir reports that 2,179 cases of chlamydia were diagnosed in Iceland last year, marking a 14% increase from 2012. This puts Iceland in the number one spot for instances of chlamydia of all European countries – where it has been for the past ten years.
Guðrún Sigmundsdóttir, Medical Director of Communicable Diseases at the Directorate of Health, says that the numbers alone do not tell the whole story.
“What has a great influence on the numbers of instances of chlamydia is how much we look for them, and how many samples we take,” she told reporters. “Here in Iceland, we take very many samples, which could amongst other things explain these numbers. The more we look, the more we find.”
Guðrún added that if someone is diagnosed with chlamydia, they are obligated to disclose everyone they may have given it to, and these people are also in turn contacted to be tested.
Iceland’s chlamydia problem has been no secret over the years. As reported, this epidemic has been of great to concern for medical professionals in Iceland. Baldur Tumi Baldursson, head of the sexual health clinic at Landspítali, told reporters last year, “People laugh at this but it can lead to immense unhappiness later when these women have trouble conceiving,” adding that authorities have not done enough to educate young people on the prevalence of the disease, nor how easy it is to prevent.