People say that money can’t buy happiness; however, when freebies are involved the excitement that follows begs to differ. If something is free, then why should you pay for it? This is the mentality many people have when it comes to STI testing. If you can get tested for sexually transmitted infections at your local genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic, why would you fork out your hard-earned money for an appointment at a private sexual health clinic?
Whether you had the most romantic Valentine’s Day with your beau, or you are heading out for the post-Valentine’s-Day-pull this weekend, your sexual health should be in your top list of priorities. Despite driving the super Gonorrhoea epidemic, most people believe oral sex is ‘safe sex’ and that it is a safer alternative to intercourse.
The number of Gonorrhoea diagnoses are at their highest rates in decades. Two new cases of super Gonorrhoea heightens existing fears that the infection is becoming rife amongst the UK population. This particular strain is increasingly rampant in the UK and experts are worried about a widespread outbreak.
Almost 102,000 people in the UK were estimated to be living with HIV in 2017. Last year was a good year for the UK when it comes the HIV epidemic – with the country having surpassed UNAID’s 90-90-90 targets that were set in 2014. The number of HIV diagnoses are the lowest they have been since 2000; 98% of those diagnosed with HIV are on treatment and 97% of HIV-positive people have undetectable viral loads.
Last week, Better2Know discussed the importance of cervical screening and the under 25s smear test debate. Attending your smear test appointment is vital to protecting your cervical health. Especially since, cervical cancer symptoms in the early stages are usually non-existent and the infection is often found, and treated, as a result of cervical screening.
Every day two women lose their lives to cervical cancer and nine women are diagnosed with the condition. Since Dr George Papanicolaou introduced pap smear testing in the 1940s, deaths from cervical cancer have reduced by more than 50%. The NHS cervical screening programme continues to make a significant impact on the amount of deaths caused by cervical cancer – saving approximately 5000 lives a year. However, coverage is at an all-time low. Over 1.2 million people are not taking up their invite each year. Experts are saying that difficulties getting GP appointments are also fuelling the decline.
‘Everyone is going to get HPV, you can’t avoid it.’ – H. Hunter Handsfield (PHD Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Washington)
Genital warts are a common sexually transmitted infection often caused by some low-risk types of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). There are over 100 different types of HPV, with some strains considered high-risk as they are associated with causing cancer, such as cervical cancer.
Around 1 in 10 men and half of all infected women do not experience any symptoms of Gonorrhoea. Gonorrhoea is the second most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK. 2017 saw 44,676 diagnoses of Gonorrhoea; this is a 22% increase in comparison to the year before. This STI is passed on through unprotected oral, vaginal and anal intercourse. You will not always notice any signs of a Gonorrhoea infection, but you can still transmit the STI to others if you have sex without a condom.
Viral Hepatitis is the 7th leading cause of death worldwide. The condition caused 1.34 million deaths in 2015. In 2016, a campaign to eliminate the condition by 2030 was launched by the World Health Organization.
As one of the most curable causes of infertility, Chlamydia is easily treated with a course of prescribed antibiotics – this means there is no need to ignore a Chlamydia infection and hope it will clear on its own. Not receiving treatment for Chlamydia can result in hospitalisation in severe cases.