A quarter of students contract a sexually transmitted infection during their first year of university, it has been revealed.
The figures have prompted concerns at a leading sexual health charity, which says the message of safe sex "seems to have been forgotten".
The research, conducted by student "dating" website Shag At Uni, found 89% of students did not use condoms for the "majority" of their sexual encounters. Another 73% admitted most of their sexual encounters took place while they were drunk, and more than half said they could not remember who passed the infection on to them.
Natika H Halil, director of communications, health and wellbeing at the sexual health charity FPA, told The Huffington Post UK: “New diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections have continued to rise and the results of this survey tie in with what we already know, that young people remain at highest risk.
"We are particularly concerned that the high-profile campaigns which drove a significant upsurge in the use of condoms, particularly in the 1980s, seem to have been forgotten and many young people will not have seen those messages."
The website behind the survey recently launched a search to find the "UK's horniest student", with the winner receiving a prize including a crate of alcohol and £500 cash.
The survey also revealed 23% of students had caught an STI from a sexual partner during their first year of studying at university. A further 21% admitted contracting an STI after their first year at university.
Halil added: "The diagnosis figures suggest condom use is on the wane and many seem to be relying on treatment rather than prevention.
"Condoms are the only method of contraception that can help protect against STIs and unplanned pregnancy."
When asked to divulge which sexually transmitted infection had caught during their time at university, if applicable to them, Chlamydia emerged as the most likely STI, with 59% of students admitting they’d caught it, with herpes and genital warts following behind with 18% and 14% respectively.
Creator of the Shag At Uni website, Tom Thurlow, made the following comments about the findings of the study:
“I decided to carry out this study as the site always notices a huge increase in new members to the website during fresher’s weeks, as this is obviously when many of the members will be meeting up with individuals they have met on the site for casual sex. I do not believe that being promiscuous and having casual sex are bad traits, however I am passionate about promoting safe sex, as well as the use of condoms amongst the student population of the UK.”
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