By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The number of reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV decreased in 2020 while the number of syphilis cases increased, according to Folkehelseinstituttet (Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH).


In 2020, 1,045 gonorrhea cases were reported in Norway against 1704 cases in 2019. The decrease in the number of cases is seen among both gay and heterosexually infected men and women.

Here are the gonorrhea details for 2020:

  • 806 men and 239 women were reported infected with gonorrhea.
    • Men: 604 (75%) were infected with homosexuality and 201 (25%) were infected with heterosexuality.
    • Women: All were infected heterosexually.
  • 62 percent of those who got gonorrhea were born in Norway.
  • 52 percent of those who got gonorrhea live in Oslo.

In 2020, 287 cases of syphilis were reported, compared with 206 cases in 2019.

Here are the facts about the syphilis numbers in Norway in 2020:

  • 276 men and 11 women were reported infected with syphilis.
  • 251 (87%) of those who contracted syphilis were homosexually infected
  • 36 (13%) of those who contracted syphilis were heterosexually infected.
  • 59 percent of those who got syphilis were born in Norway.

NIPH says since the end of the 1990s, the number of syphilis cases among homosexually infected men has increased significantly in Norway, and the trend will continue in 2020.

– This development is surprising in light of the coronary measures and compared with the decline in registered gonorrhea cases, senior adviser Øivind Nilsen at NIPH says.

– A possible explanation for the fact that syphilis has increased among men who have sex with men through 2020, while gonorrhea has decreased sharply, may be that syphilis gives less symptoms, has a longer infectious phase than gonorrhea and that the disease has a high infectivity, says he.

Most men who have sex with men are still infected by casual sex in Oslo – but the trend in recent years with more infection in the rest of Norway, especially in larger cities such as Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger, or on holiday trips to major European cities, continues.

Among heterosexually infected women and men, the incidence of syphilis is now significantly higher than ten years ago, but it has remained stable in recent years.

“Awareness and knowledge of the disease and symptoms, low threshold for sampling, thorough infection detection and infection control advice to vulnerable groups is important,” says Nilsen.

He adds that rapid implementation of local measures in the event of an increase in cases, and notification of suspected outbreaks is crucial for keeping syphilis under good control in Norway.