Sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and blood-borne viruses

Annual report with overview of the epidemiology of diseases based on 2012 data:


Chlamydia is the most frequently reported sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA).
In 2012, 384 105 cases of chlamydia were reported in 25 EU/EEA Member States. The true incidence of chlamydia is likely to be higher due to asymptomatic infections and differences in diagnostic practices and surveillance systems across Europe which can cause under reporting. Two thirds (68%) of all chlamydia cases were reported in young people between 15 and 24 years of age, with highest rate reported in women aged 20 to 24 years (1 683 cases per 100 000), although this is influenced by the screening opportunities for this age group.


With 50 341 cases notified by 29 EU/EEA countries, gonorrhoea is the second most commonly reported bacterial STI in Europe.
Recorded gonorrhoea cases increased by 58% between 2008 and 2012, with most countries reporting increases. Control of gonorrhoea relies entirely on antibiotics and is being challenged by emerging resistance to third generation cephalosporins.

Hepatitis B infection

In 2012, 17 291cases of hepatitis B virus infection were reported by 28 EU/EEA countries. 2 952 (17.1%) of these reported cases were classified as acute and 12 306 (71.2%) as chronic. For both acute and chronic cases the rates were highest in the age group of 25 to 34 year-olds. Most individuals infected with the hepatitis B virus have no acute clinical symptoms and up to 25% resolve the infection spontaneously. Those chronically infected have a subsequent risk of developing liver disease.

Hepatitis C infection

30 483 cases of hepatitis C were reported in 26 EU/ EEA Member States in 2012. Of those, 509 (1.7%) were ‘acute’, 3 905 (12.8%) as ‘chronic’ and 23 712 (77.8%) as ‘unknown’.

Some of those infected will naturally clear it from their body, approximately 75% of acute cases become chronically infected. Chronic hepatitis C virus infection may result in cirrhosis in up to 35% of patients.


The 29 306 diagnosed cases of HIV infection reported in 29 EU/EEA countries in 2012 are likely to be an underestimation due to the delay in reporting HIV diagnoses in a number of countries. The highest proportion of infections was reported among men who have sex with men (40%); heterosexual contact accounted for 34% and injecting drug use for 6% of new HIV infections.
In 2012, 4285 diagnoses of AIDS were reported in 28 EU/EEA countries. Overall, there has been a 42% decrease in AIDS cases since 2008, when 7438 cases were recorded.


In 2012, 20 769 syphilis cases were reported by 29 EU/EEA Member States. The majority of cases were reported among people older than 25 years. The long-term trend has been declining overall, however a growing proportion of countries are reporting increasing rates in recent years. Rates are increasing mainly among men, suggesting that this may be influenced by increased transmission of syphilis among men who have sex with men.
Full report: Europe: Sexually transmitted disases 2014 (2012 Stats)


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