A new survey shows that only around 30 percent of Norwegian men use condoms when having “casual sex,” reports the state health agency Folkehelseinstitutt. That ranks among the worst in Europe, and the consequences are also reflected in statistics showing a huge increase in cases of sexually transmitted diseases.
“Norwegian men are the worst in Europe at using condoms, and only condoms can protect against diseases,” Kari Haugen, a nurse at the University of Stavanger, told NRK.
From her office at the university’s student union she points to research showing that three of four Norwegians have had unprotected sex and six out of 10 young Norwegian men failed to use a condom the last time they had sex with a new partner.
At the same time, health care officials are seeing a sharp rise in cases of syphillis, for example, up 500 percent between 2005 and 2015. Cases of gonorrhea doubled during the same time period, while there also were increases in cases of chronic hepatitis B and clamydia over the past 10 years.
Ellen Margrethe Carlsen, a director at the state health directorate (Helsedirektoratet) confirmed that condom use is severely lacking among Norwegians. “We don’t really know why, it probably has several reasons, along with norms and attitudes,” Carlsen said.
The university in Stavanger is now offering anonymous “self-testing” for diseases, and the number of young men doing so rose by 50 percent last week.