During 2002, the number of reported sexually transmitted diseases reached an all time high in Ireland, according to the National Disease Surveillance Centre (NDSC). The number of STIs (sexually transmitted infections) rose by almost 8% for the year.

The NDSC said that "Notified STIs have been increasing steadily each year since 1994, increasing by 157 percent between 1994 and 2002 and by 370 percent between 1989 and 2002." Hepatitis B was the disease with the largest increase in 2002, at 46%.

Hepatitis C infections rose by 650% between 1999 and 2000. Public health medicine specialist for the NDSC, Mary Cronin, said of the findings: "I would urge those who are sexually active to practice safe sex, as most STIs are preventable."

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