Most people would agree that sexual health awareness is important for people of all ages. However, awareness of the key facts about the conditions, their mode of transmission and treatment is one thing - awareness of the how people are responding to this information is another. The Health Protection Agency’s own figures confirm that in spite of increased sexual health awareness, there is a generally rising trend in Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) diagnoses in recent years. Whilst some of this may be due to increased community screening and improved sensitivity of testing - it is also appears to reflect increased prevalence. Young people 15-24 yrs continue to be the group most affected by STI’s.
In a recent study by Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, 47% of the 65 participants admitted to having had unprotected sex within the last month and a further two thirds had never had a sexual health check. Many people are continuing to have unprotected sex and are not having sexual health checks - thereby risking their own health and exposing future sexual partners to the risk of a sexually transmitted infection.
Although it may not be a statistically representative study, it illustrates the importance of condoms as a method for protecting against sexually transmitted infections and it also perhaps provides an insight into why we continue to see an increase in sexually transmitted infection rates in the UK despite increased awareness.
In addition a piece on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ on wednesday 19th February, drew attention to the fact that bacteria and viruses have the ability to build a resistance to the drugs used to tackle them. It would seem this is starting to occur with the treatment of STI’s.
In the future Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia, could become harder to treat due to this increased resistance. Without the availability of effective treatment, STIs could spread more rapidly and cause longer lasting damage to those suffering.
There is still scope for much improved rates of diagnoses through testing. Unless people get themselves tested quickly then they cannot be certain of precisely what problem they may have and what their treatment options are.
We offer the full range of GP supported, sexual health testing - with total privacy and confidentiality.
For all advice and information concerning sexual health and STI screening and for peace of mind, book an appointment at our Hampshire or London clinic by calling us on 01243 388712.