Male chastity belts and male nudists are being linked to a new condition that’s been linked to an uptick in cases of male-specific STD outbreaks in Sweden, according to a report.
The increase in cases, dubbed the “stealth outbreak,” has been reported to the National Board for Diagnostic and Statistical Information, a state-appointed board that monitors Sweden’s health system.
“We have been working on a very high-level epidemiological analysis of the Swedish men’s health situation, and the results have been quite alarming,” Dr. Anders Fjellman, head of the institute, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
“And the main finding is that it is not only in our male population but also in our female population that these infections have been rising,” he said.
Fjellmann said the number of male STD cases has been rising steadily in recent years, but it has also increased in Sweden’s gay community.
The country has been one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world, with the country allowing same-sex couples to adopt children.
“These trends are worrying,” Fjelner said.
The spike in male-based infections has been blamed on the rise in the prevalence of STDs in Sweden.
In 2012, the country had 2,743 confirmed cases of HIV, with 1,894 of them in gay men.
It’s now estimated that about 3,000 people in Sweden have HIV, according the CDC.
The outbreak is also spreading to other areas of the country, such as in the north and east of Sweden, where cases of gonorrhea have also increased.
The health ministry has set up a hotline for people who think they might be infected with a sexually transmitted disease.
The Swedish health ministry says it has been inundated with calls from people who have come across the hotline, but says it cannot handle everyone who calls.