General Article What are the chances of getting an STI?

Topic Selected: Sexual Health Book Volume: 379
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The chances of getting an STI are probably lower than you think, but here’s why having safer sex is still a very good idea.

By Justin Hancock

Whenever we see statistics in the news about STIs they are often using the actual numbers of cases, because these actual numbers look quite big. People want to make the numbers look big because: 

  • it makes a juicy scary news story blaming all these ‘naughty irresponsible people over there’ for not wrapping up;
  • or, less commonly, to make a point about the dreadful under-funding of sexual health services and outreach services;
  • or, even less commonly, to make a point about how drug companies need to be investing more in drugs to treat/cure these infections but they won’t because there isn’t a great deal of profit in making new antibiotics.

Annnnnyway, so they make the numbers look big. Public Health England reported that 144,000 young people, in England, were diagnosed with Chlamydia or Gonorrhoea in 2017. That is a lot of people: too many peopl...

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