Why STI Cases Are Still Rising
Cases of Sexually Transmitted Infections are still rising, despite broad access to education and sexual health services. But what is driving this trend and forcing health professionals to deal with escalating levels of infection which are increasingly resistant to antibiotics?
The Rise of Dating Apps
Tinder has a lot to answer for! Online dating and dating apps mean that single people are able to meet new partners quickly and easily. The rise in dating for single people means that sex between new partners is inevitable, and only a fifth of people will use a condom on the first occasion.
Socio-economic changes also mean that older people are dating again and forgetting that although pregnancy may not be an unforeseen consequence of sex, STIs really are. In fact, there has been a 43pc increase in cases of Chlamydia and syphilis in people aged 50 and over.
Less Fear of HIV
Ever since drug treatments for HIV have been refined and given sufferers a longer, better quality of life, the fear around HIV has subsided. Today it is viewed as a chronic condition such as diabetes, but one that can be managed with the right treatment. This is a huge change from just a decade or so ago, when treatments were less advanced and available and people lived in fear of catching HIV.
Poor Sex Education
Did you know that you can get free condoms in Greenwich? Do you know what a family planning centre is for? Do you know which STIs you are at risk of if you have unprotected sex? Poor sexual health education has also been blamed for an increase in STIs.
There is plenty of information available online, at sexual health clinics, at your doctor and at specific sexual health services dotted around the country where you can educate yourself about sexual health. Find out more at https://www.pitstopplus.org/.
If you are likely to be sleeping with a new partner, carry condoms and have the conversation about safe sex beforehand. Ideally, you should both get tested at a GUM clinic beforehand to rule out any STIs, including those such as herpes which can be spread via skin-to-skin contact.
Nothing is more important than your health, so prioritise it and stay safe while you are having fun and having sex with a new partner.