Sexually-transmitted diseases on the rise in Singapore

Zakaria Abdul Wahab

Sexually-transmitted diseases, other than HIV, have risen in Singapore, with 62 per cent of the reported cases involving Singaporeans, latest data from the health ministry has shown.

The number of infected cases notified to the local medical authority in the past three years had increased from about 11,000 in 2006 to 12,300 in 2008, the ministry told the Singapore Parliament.

In a written reply to oral questions released today, the ministry said the three main sexually-transmitted infections (STI) were gonorrhoea, non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) and syphilis.

It said, based on the data in the ministry’s STI Control Clinic, one-third of patients who sought treatment were new cases while the rest were follow-up cases.

The ministry said it did not have the breakdown of the cases seen at private clinics.

The ministry also said 70 per cent of the cases involved young adults in their twenties or thirties.It added that in cases below 20, two-thirds were female and for those older than 20, two-thirds were male.

The ministry also said it had worked with several organisations to put in place programmes to address the rising trend of STIs among Singaporean youths.

The topic on STIs was included in the science syllabus and the ministry had made it mandatory for schools to implement sex education, it said.