HPV most common sexual disease, sharp rise in GU clinic visits

Number of visits to GU clinic rose from 4,504 in 2015 to 7,469 in 2019, with HPV being the mostly commonly diagnosed STD in recent years

Visits to the government GU clinic have risen sharply between 2015 and 2019
Visits to the government GU clinic have risen sharply between 2015 and 2019

Visits to the government's sexual health clinic have been increasing steadily over the past years, with 66% more people attending the genitourinary (GU) clinic in 2019 compared to 2015.

While 4,504 GU clinic visits were registered in 2015, the numbers rose to 6,022, 6,277, 7,218 and 7,469 in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively, information tabled in Parliament on Tuesday shows.

The most commonly diagnosed STD in 2015 and 2016 was Chlamydia, with 154 and 270 cases respectively. From 2017 to 2019, human papillomavirus (HPV) was the most common disease, with 842, 937 and 798 cases respectively.

The figures emerged from a reply by Health Minister Chris Fearne to a PQ from PN MP Claudette Buttigieg.

The visits at the GU clinic were for the purposes of testing, consultation and treatment, Fearne said.

Last year, 4,227 of the visits were from men, while 2,172 were from women. In terms of sexual orientation, 4,472 of the people who visited were heterosexual and 1,853 were homosexual. The same person can visit the GU clinic more than once in a year, as often happens, Fearne said.

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