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Correspondence on ‘Sexually transmitted infections during the first 2 years of COVID-19 pandemic in Finland’ by Kuitunen et al
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  1. Ilari Kuitunen1,2,
  2. VIlle Ponkilainen3,
  3. Ville M Mattila4,
  4. Mikko M Uimonen3
  1. 1Mikkeli Central Hospital, Mikkeli, Finland
  2. 2University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
  3. 3Central Finland Hospital District, Jyvaskyla, Finland
  4. 4Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Pirkanmaa, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ilari Kuitunen, Mikkeli Central Hospital, Mikkeli, Finland; ilari.kuitunen{at}uef.fi

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Social restrictions did not reduce Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) or Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) detections in Finland during the first 6 months of the pandemic.1 We explored the incidences of laboratory-confirmed CT, NG and Treponema pallidum (TP) findings from March 2020 to February 2022. Incidence rate ratio (IRR) was used in comparisons.

We included a total of 103 292 CT, 3384 NG and 1407 TP detections (online supplemental file 1). There was minimal monthly variation in CT incidence (figure 1). During the second pandemic year, NG detections were higher in both groups (IRR 1.1, CI 1.0 to 1.3; IRR 1.2, CI 1.1 to 1.4) especially in the late 2021 (figure 1). TP detections remained practically unchanged in the first pandemic year (IRR 0.9, CI 0.8 to 1.1) but were lower in the second year (IRR 0.8, CI 0.7 to 0.9; figure 1).

Figure 1

Monthly incidence of laboratory-confirmed Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Treponema pallidum infections stratified by age (15–29 years and 30 or above). March 2015 to February 2020 used as reference period. The first pandemic year was from March 2020 to February 2021 and the second pandemic year was from March 2021 to February 2022.

Social restrictions did not reduce nationwide STI detections during the first pandemic year but travelling restrictions may have reduced TP detections during the second pandemic year, which was unsurprising as over 50% of these originate abroad.2

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @ilarikuitunen

  • Contributors IK had the original idea. MU and VM participated in the conceptualisation. IK drafted the first version. IK and MU analysed the data. IK, MU, VM and VP participated in writing and revising the manuscript. VM provided resources. All of the authors had access to data and have approved the final version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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