Stories about sexually transmitted diseases may spread virally, but for anyone who missed them, here are the top 5 STD news stories to hit the headlines.
GSOH and STD?
A new dating service has been created for people with sexually transmitted diseases. A woman, who remains anonymous, came up with the idea when she feared she would find it hard to find a new partner after she was diagnosed with genital herpes.
Users are asked to reveal their disease alongside their personal details such as weight, eye colour and height.
Sheelagh, who does not have a sexually transmitted disease, added: ‘People may use it simply to find friendship or a partner for an activity such as tennis. If they find love, then that is a great thing as well.’
Syphilis for Christmas?
Manufacturers are hoping their range of cuddly toy versions of microbes including gonorrhea and syphilis will be a hit for Christmas.
US company Giant Microbes has turned microscopic images of viruses and bugs, which also include malaria and mad cow disease, into soft toys.
Each 5-to-7 inch doll is accompanied by an image of the real microbe it represents, as well as information about the microbe. They were intended as learning tools for children but have proved popular with adults looking for amusing gifts for partners and friends.
Men who pay for sex spread STDs
A study by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde also revealed that men ‘playing away’ on holiday are twice as likely to have unprotected sex as those paying for sex at home.
Almost half of men who pay for sex already have a partner, and although none of the men surveyed had HIV or Aids, a fifth had a sexually transmitted infection, including gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis.
The research, which appears in October’s Sexually Transmitted Infections Journal, surveyed more than 2,600 men attending the Sandyford sexual health clinic in Glasgow between October 2002 and February 2004.
A standard health-screening questionnaire completed by the men revealed that one in 10 had paid for sex. Almost half, 43%, said they were in another relationship when they had paid for the sex, and 56% of those who said they had paid for unprotected intercourse already had a partner at the time.
Plan for high street sex health kit
Free STD test kits for a range of sexually transmitted diseases could be made widely available on the high street under plans being considered by health ministers.
It follows the success of a pilot scheme under which Boots has given away 6,000 STD test kits for chlamydia to young people.
A DoH spokeswoman said of the STD tests: ‘We are trying to normalise testing for STIs [sexually-transmitted infections] and remove the embarrassment factor by making testing available in places like pharmacies.’
One in Four Teenage Girls Has an STD
A new CDC study suggests one in every four teenage girls has an STD, and HPV, which can cause cervical cancer, is by far the most prevalent.
The girls, aged 14 to 19, had STD tests for four infections in the study. It found that 18 percent of participants had HPV, four percent had chlamydia, 2.5 percent had trichomoniasis and two percent had herpes simplex virus.