Following parliamentary questions sent by Shadow Health Minister Claudette Buttigieg, we’ve got some insights on sexual health in Malta.
Less than 2% of the population visited Malta’s GU Clinic last year
Around 7,469 people visited Mater Dei’s Genitourinary (GU) clinic in 2019. This amounts to less than 2% of the island’s population of over 400,000, and, because some may visit the clinic more than once a year, if for example, they have multiple partners or are treating a sexual disease, the true figure of attendance is even lower.
Significantly more heterosexual people visited the sexual health clinic than homosexual
When asked how the number was divided between sexualities it was found that 4,472 were heterosexual and 1,853 identified as homosexual.
And more men visited than women
Moreover, the number of men who went for a yearly check-up was more than double the number of women in 2019. Only 2,172 women visited in comparison to 4,225 men.
HPV was the most common sexually transmitted disease for the last three years
In terms of sexual diseases, HPV was the most common STD of 2019.
From 2017 until 2019, HPV was the most registered sexually transmitted disease in Malta. In 2019, 798 people contracted the disease, down from 937 in 2018 but higher than in 2017, which had 842 cases of HPV. In 2015 and 2016, Chlamydia was the most common STD.
Although the amount of people visiting the GU clinic seems to be increasing, with a 31% increase in visits since 2018, the figures are still worryingly low. And with Malta’s sexual health clinic under-resourced; understaffed and regular appointments disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, issues still remain at the GU clinic.