Talking about sex and sexual health has become a lot more acceptable over recent years and as a result, information about sexually transmitted infections is also easier to access. However, admitting you have an STI is still very much taboo.
STIs – The facts
The two most common STIs are chlamydia and gonorrhea and both are on the rise, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Between 2014 – 2018, cases of chlamydia rose by 19% and cases of gonorrhea rose by an alarming 63%. The increase was highest amongst teenagers and women in their 20s.
There are several possible reasons why there has been an increase. One is the availability of birth control, resulting in people feeling more able to have sex without the risk of getting pregnant. Also, the treatments now available for HIV infection have meant people feel able to have sex without using a condom.
Some countries are launching campaigns to protect people from unwanted pregnancies and infections, such as Brazil, which has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Latin America.
Many STIs are symptom-free and therefore hard to diagnose, or they are misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. While some STIs do cause symptoms such as pain, burning sensation when urinating or unpleasant discharge, at least fifty percent of those people with an STI won’t suffer any symptoms. However, if an infection is left untreated, it could cause serious illness and health conditions.
A person with an STI without symptoms can cause a serious problem as they can unknowingly pass it on to their sexual partners and cause a chain effect.
STIs don’t just target the genital area, they can also survive in the throat area. This can result in transmission via oral sex.
London chlamydia testing kits are available for anyone wishing to test themselves. London chlamydia testing kits can be used in the privacy of your own home and are available to purchase online, saving any potential embarrassment. With chlamydia infection rates rising, this test makes real sense.
Unfortunately, there is no one test for all STIs. Different infections require different tests and these can range from a simple urine test, to a genital swab or a blood test. Women may be offered a smear test.