One in four people (26.1%) responding to the Better2Know 2011 survey have worried that they might have infected a partner with a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). In addition, nearly half of respondents (47.6%) admit to being unfaithful to their partner and over two-thirds of these people (69.9%) have done so more than once.
According to the Health Protection (HPA) 418,598 people were diagnosed with a STD in 2010. Many STDs have no symptoms but can lead to infertility in women, and both men and women can pass the infection on to partners. In most cases a short course of antibiotics will cure the problem.
“Over 6,700 new cases of HIV were diagnosed in the UK during 2010. With advances in HIV treatment, the disease is now widely considered a chronic condition which can be managed effectively over the patients’ normal lifespan” said Better2Know Chairman Mike Asher.
He continued: “There is, however, strong evidence that up to 25% of the HIV-positive population is undiagnosed, which contributes to rising treatment costs and a high rate of new infections. Early diagnosis is fundamental to increasing life expectancy, and to reducing levels of new infections. Regular testing for HIV and other STDs is the only way to identify the infection, and treatment can then either cure or manage the conditions. The HPA estimates that by 2012 there will be over 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK and one in five of these patients will be over the age of 50.”
The Better2Know 2011 survey showed that half of respondents (50.0%) thought that NHS provision was insufficient, with concerns about anonymity, attending a drop – in service and length of time for results the main reasons for saying it was inadequate.
“Private STD clinics can offer much faster testing results than the NHS” said Better2Know Director Anthea Morris. “When you are worried about whether you have an STD it can be all consuming: affecting your relationships, social and work life. Some patients have reported waiting up to three weeks for results on the NHS, after having to wait for a 90 day incubation period for HIV. Better2Know can provide instant HIV tests after the 90 day incubation period, and can also provide HIV tests from 10 days after the potential exposure to the virus. All Better2Know STD test results are delivered within one to five working days depending on the test.”