Researchers obtained routine diagnostic, demographic and behavioural data from first-time visits to three screening centres. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess risk factors that predict STI occurrence among adolescents.

A total of 2784 first-time patients were included in the study. They received 3475 diagnoses; 1168 of adolescents had notifiable STIs. The incidence rate of STIs is 225/100 000 person-years. Univariate analysis identified eligible risk factors for inclusion in the multivariable model. Statistical analysis showed the dominant risk factors for STI diagnosis to be: males who sometimes or never use condoms; and females, with 2 or more than 3 partners in 1 year, who are non-intravenous drug users, are most likely to receive a positive STI diagnosis.

The study concluded that STI diagnosis has become increasingly common in Ireland. The proportion of notifications among those aged under 20 years is increasing. These data illustrate the significance of age, condom use and number of sexual partners as risk factors for STI diagnosis. Providing data for the first time, we report on the high incidence rate of STIs among adolescents in Ireland.