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  • Writer's pictureSerge Gerritsma

Sexually transmitted diseases on the rise, says health institute

The number of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the Netherlands is growing and antibiotics may no longer be able to combat some diseases, health institute RIVM has warned.

The use of condoms has been going down among the young, who make up the most sexually active group, for years but 2022 was a peak year for infections among this group, particularly with gonorrhea. “Young people think STDs can be solved by taking a pill but that isn’t always the case. If you don’t act in time it could affect fertility in the future,” RIVM doctor Rosa Joosten told the Algemeen Dagblad. “Prevention is better than a cure, so that means you use a condom,” she said.

The RIVM and local health boards will be handing out 40,000 condoms during the university introduction weeks and at festivals, with the slogan: make love, not STDs.

Four in 10 youngsters don’t use a condom on a one-night stand. That could be down to ignorance, lack of foresight, or girls not being able to insist their partner use a condom, the RIVM said.

The RIVM and sexually transmitted disease organization Soa Nederland have been calling for a return of the Safe Sex campaigns that were stopped 10 years ago to raise awareness.

“We really need a change in sexual behavior when it comes to the use of condoms.”

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