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Safe sex Sexually transmitted diseases on the rise

(Love Life)

The number of reported cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has grown in Switzerland. Health officials say the growth may be largely down to better testing. 

Compared with 2015, the number of cases of gonorrhoea, syphilis and chlamydia have increased by 20%, 15% and 8% respectively in 2016.  However, reported cases of HIV have stabilised for the second year in a row. Men constitute the majority of STI cases accounting for 79%, 89% and 78% of all reported cases of gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV respectively. Chlamydia on the other hand affected more women, who accounted for 67% of all cases. 

The government said the rise in STI cases was due to better lab tests and an increase in testing frequency thanks to screening programmes supported by the Federal Office of Public Health. However, it did say there was a possibility that there has been an increase in infections among the population, although it said it was difficult to know by how much. 

The health office published the statistics on the same day as the relaunch of its controversial ‘Love Life’ safe sex campaignexternal link. When the posters and adverts first appeared in 2014, they raised eyebrows owing to the use of real-life couples in passionate embrace. Conservative politicians deemed them sexually explicit and a bad influence on children – a charge denied by the government, which responded that the posters did not exceed socially accepted norms and encouraged children to ask questions.

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