Seven out of ten who were diagnosed with chlamydia were under 25 years of age, and 61 per cent of those diagnosed were women.
“In the last five years there has been a decline in the number of cases in the 15-19 year age group while in the same period there has been a corresponding increase in the 20-24 year age group. This trend is most evident in women,” says Hilde Kløvstad, senior adviser at the NIPH.
“The figures only reflect who is tested for chlamydia and not necessarily the actual distribution in the population,” says Kløvstad.
Unaware of infection
Chlamydia is currently the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection in Norway.
“If you have had unprotected sex with someone with chlamydia, you could be infected without realising it. Chlamydia displays no symptoms in 60-80 per cent of cases so it is easy to be unaware. In some cases, untreated chlamydia can result in complications for both men and women, such as having problems conceiving,” says Kløvstad.
“If you are you under 25 and sexually active you should be tested when changing partners to avoid complications and to not infect others,” says Kløvstad, who also calls for increased use of condoms to prevent chlamydial infection.
Chlamydia is easily treated with antibiotics. Testing and treatment are free.
In the over-24 age group there is a lower incidence of chlamydia, but more people test themselves than in the risk group under 25.
“It is especially in the risk group under 25 years of age that the incidence of chlamydia is highest. There is much to gain by testing more people in this group. It is especially important that more young men are tested,” adds Kløvstad.
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, PO Box 4404 Nydalen, N-0403 Oslo Phone: +47 21077000 Fax: +47 22353605