Figures show that a record number of people accessed sexual health services during 2017 whilst funding for the service continued to be cut.
According to reports over 3.3 million people in the UK visited a GUM clinic which represents a 13% increase since 2013.
Despite this increase, the government announced a £600 million cut to public health spending throughout the year leaving many councils now struggling to cope with the demand. Continue reading
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can affect anyone that is sexually active. The sexuality or sexual preference of the person does not matter; if you don’t take the right precautions and protection, everyone is vulnerable to STDs.
There often isn’t any way of knowing for sure that you have a sexually transmitted infection or disease without getting tested. Fortunately, the number of STI testing options has increased over time. Before we discuss some of these testing options, it’s important to highlight the symptoms of these STD’s.
95% of HIV transmission happens because of intercourse without a condom. Although the chances of contracting HIV via oral sex is small the percentage still exists. Some things that could accelerate the chances of contracting HIV via oral sex are bleeding gums, genital sores and mouth ulcers. If you have had oral sex recently with a potentially HIV positive person it’s really important to get tested.
What are the risks of oral sex
While the chances of getting HIV through oral sex are minimal, it can potentially cause many other issues. Some of these include; gonorrhoea, genital herpes and syphilis, all of whom can cause many infertility issues. symptoms vary however, they can be treated as long as they are detected early.
Since the first known case of HIV in 1959 in Congo, HIV has swept the whole world and killed over 35 million people. This is almost double the population of the Netherlands, which is highly painful to comprehend. However, there has been some success stories along the way, with a lot of people being cured of HIV. After looking at these different cases you will find similarities, people’s survival rate of HIV is dependant on the detection speed. In other words, the quicker you get tested the more chance you have of being cured or preventing death via HIV. Britain is not an anomaly to this virus, with 103,700 people reported to have HIV. More concerningly, 18100 are completely unaware they have the condition. Highlighting the importance of the upcoming world HIV testing day to ensure people get tested.
According to a recent report published by Public Health England in 2016, the number of people who were diagnosed with STDs went down. However, amongst 15-24 year olds the rates are still quite high. It was reported that males in this age group have been diagnosed with an STI two times more than those aged 25-59. Furthermore, women that are aged 15-24 are also diagnosed with STIs seven times more than those aged 25-59.
The majority of sexually transmitted infections amongst young people were chlamydia, making up a huge 62% of all the sexually transmitted infections in the UK.
New antibodies effective at preventing HIV infection in primates
In what has been described by the International AIDS Society as a “promising breakthrough”, scientists have developed a new antibody that may be effective in preventing and treating infection from the HIV virus.
One of the major problems facing the development of an effective HIV treatment is the genetic diversity of the virus. The HIV virus rapidly mutates so that a single patient can become infected with many different strains, each of which reacts to different antibodies.
Radio soap raises awareness of STIs
The popular and long-running radio soap, The Archers, has put sexually transmitted infections into the public eye with its latest storyline. Listeners of the show are eagerly awaiting the results of character Phoebe’s STI test following a love affair with a local fruit picker.
Amongst a range of themes running throughout the story was Phoebe’s reluctance to visit her local STI clinic. The character was embarrassed in case she saw someone that she knew and also scared to touch anything in the clinic.
Her thoughts and fears reflect how people feel about visiting NHS clinics across the country and with cuts to public health services STI clinics are unlikely to become any more pleasant. With many clinics also making it difficult to book appointments it also means that visiting can be a long and inconvenient experience.
Your Sexual Health offers convenient alternative to NHS testing
With many STIs on the rise in the UK, it’s no wonder that a public health think tank has deemed cuts to sexual health services “reckless”. The King’s Fund expressed their concern over what cuts in frontline testing might cost the NHS in the long run and Your Sexual Health tend to agree.
“Cuts to frontline testing will inevitably lead to the need for more costly STI treatment down the line,” said Dr Rashid Bani, lead doctor at Your Sexual Health. “The NHS is already bending over backwards in trying to accommodate the many people that require testing and these cuts will not help in the slightest.”
The latest cuts come amidst an increase in syphilis cases in the UK, with records from Public Health England showing 5,920 diagnoses in 2016, up from 3001 in 2012. On top of this, the World Health Organization has recently warned of a gonorrhoea super bug that is immune to anti-biotic treatment.
Testing in a more comfortable environment
With NHS cuts to testing in cities up and down the UK many patients are leaving their STIs undiagnosed causing them to spread. Amongst the reasons for not visiting clinics are embarrassment of seeing someone that they might know and with clinic waiting times growing longer that worry will only get worse.
Luckily, there is another way. Your Sexual Health offer a completely confidential testing service in a manner that is completely convenient to you. Our private STI tests can be carried out at one of our many clinics across the UK or at an address convenient to you.
“With cuts to NHS funding, patients may struggle to find the tests that they need at a convenient time and place for them,” said Dr Bani. “Our private STI tests allow patients to gain the peace of mind that they need in a completely confidential manner.”
Find out more about the range of private STI tests on offer from Your Sexual Health and book yours today.
NeatClub concept could help singles on the dating scene stay safe
The invention of Tinder has left many of its users exposed to STDs, but it looks like there’s an app on the way to combat the issue. It’s only in the concept phase, but NeatClub will be able to pull in a user’s STD testing history and display it to their prospective sexual partners.
The apps name is derived from the way in which it functions. If a person is STD free they will show as a “neat” glass of whisky. If they have any mixture of STDs their glass will have different props in it, such as an olive for chlamydia or a slice of lemon for HIV.
Users will have to be tested every four months in order for their results to show and remain valid. If a user has treatment for an STD they will be able to update their profile when they are given the all clear.
It’s not certain at this stage how the app will be able to verify medical information or whether it will be rolled out in the UK. That said, Your Sexual Health’s Dr Rashid Bani believes the app is a great way to ensure those on the dating scene don’t catch sexually transmitted infections.
“There are a number of questions about how the app will work, but the concept is great as it will reduce the risk of STDs spreading and increase testing rates,” Dr Bani said. “Nonetheless, anyone who has multiple sexual partners should always wear protection to ensure they don’t catch STDs.”
There’s no timeline on when the app will be created, but it should change the way that people share their sexual health information for the better. In the meantime it’s important that you are tested regularly for STDs if you’ve had multiple sexual partners since your last test.
Private STD Testing from Your Sexual Health
Your Sexual Health offer a range of privates STD tests that are available anywhere in the UK. We operate in clinics or from our home visits or postal service to offer accurate laboratory tested results in a confidential and convenient manner.
You can see our full range of private STD tests and book your appointment on site today.