Nearly 20 children under the age of 14 have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection this year.
New figures released to Newstalk show that nearly 500 teenagers aged between 15 and 19 have tested positive.
In total, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre says 6,256 people have tested positive for HIV or a sexually transmitted infection (STI) this year.
They include over 3,700 males and nearly 2,500 females.
This year, STIs have been most common among 20 to 24 year olds - with nearly 1,900 infections confirmed.
Some 18 children under the age of 14 have tested positive for an STI this year – which Monaghan GP Illona Duffy told Newstalk is alarming.
“These are shocking figures and to hear that there are children under the age of 14 who have been diagnosed with sexual transmitted disease is a cause for concern,” she said.
“My presumption would be these are children who have been taken, perhaps, into care and been examined and one would hope are now being cared for because one must remember it is illegal for anyone to have sex with children of that age.”
She said the figures are probably related to “specific cohorts of patients and specific groups who have been taken into care and where there has been a suspicion of child sexual abuse being undertaken on them.”
“So, I think this isn’t necessarily a measure of your standard under 14-year-old and I think it is important to also take that into context when we are discussing these figures.
In total, 498 teenagers aged between 15 and 19 have tested positive.
Rebekah Connolly from youth organisation SpunOut.ie said the figures are worrying.
“What we have to look at is, what is the cause of people getting an STI,” she said.
“So, if that is a lack of education or a lack of STI services being open during the yea.”
A national outbreak of syphilis was declared recently and 459 people have tested positive for the illness this year.