A recent survey by the Irish Government’s Sexual Health Programme found that one in four young women surveyed had been exposed to the nutilite virus, and that more than half of women reported they had tested positive for the virus.
It also found that nearly half of those surveyed had taken part in one or more sexual contact or had been touched by an intimate partner in the past year.
A survey carried out by the Sex Research Centre found that three in four women who tested positive in the last six months of 2015 were infected with the nutlite virus.
More than half (52 per cent) of the respondents said they had experienced an unwanted sexual contact in the previous year, including touching and groping, while more than three in five said they experienced an ‘unwanted touching’ during a sexual encounter.
The results of the survey showed that the nutliite virus was spreading in a large number of sexual situations, including intimate partners, but the most common form of transmission was via the use of pornography.
Sexual health services in Ireland have also reported a spike in the numbers of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in recent years, with the latest figures showing a 20 per cent increase in reported cases between December 2014 and June 2015.
However, the prevalence of STIs remains low.
The latest figures from the Irish Department of Health (DOH) show that in June 2016, there were 1,974 confirmed cases of STI, with 1,058 cases of confirmed cases resulting in death.
STI infections are among the most prevalent infectious diseases in the world, accounting for more than 10 per cent of all new infections.
However the prevalence is low among women, with just 0.6 per cent in Ireland and the US, while it is higher in Scotland and England.
In 2015, the number of STDs reported in Ireland rose by almost one per cent.
However in 2016, the overall number of cases fell by more than a third, to 1,009.
“Despite a huge increase in the number and prevalence of infections, our overall STI case rate remained below 20 per 100,000 population,” said Dr Clare McBride, Deputy Minister for Health.
“The latest figures show that our overall infection rate has remained steady at 20 per 1,000 people, and this means that despite the huge rise in cases, our case rates remain below the target of 80 per 100000 people.”
The report also found the number in the population who were not sexually active was rising by around 25 per cent, but this figure was still lower than the national average of almost one in 10.
However Dr McBride said that the number who were sexually active and in heterosexual relationships was increasing, as the number aged between 16 and 24 was falling, and the proportion of people aged over 50 was increasing.
She added that the proportion reporting positive STIs for the nutlisite virus had also increased in recent months, with nearly half (47 per cent), or 51 per cent had tested negative.
Dr McBrie said that although the risk of STIDs from the nutlicite virus has decreased in recent times, there are still significant STIs.
“We need to be vigilant and aware of the potential risk from the nutsilite viruses,” she said.
“However, there is evidence that the incidence of STIS and related diseases among gay and bisexual men has decreased since the end of the nutrlicite pandemic in 2008.”
There is no vaccine for the nutsillite virus in Ireland yet, but Dr McBride said that it was not currently known how long it would take for the disease to be eliminated in Ireland.
“There is no specific vaccine or vaccine candidate, so there are no specific targets that can be set, so we need to see if the disease is still present in Ireland,” she explained.
“At this stage, the only thing we can do is to monitor and monitor for any new cases.”
More on this story: What you need to know about the nutlivite virus