Most of us know that the key to stopping STIs spreading is to treat them quickly, but adults across with country are delaying receiving treatment.
New research has revealed 12% (6.16 million) of UK adults have been infected with an STI, but 33% between the ages of 18 and 34 leave identified STIs untreated.
The survey of 2,000 UK adults found those in Northern Ireland are the least likely to receive treatment, with an alarming 75% not going to a doctor or pharmacist after recognising STI symptoms.
However, Northern Ireland may not be the worst area in the country for STI spreading, on the grounds that only a very small percentage (7%) of residents say they’ve had an STI.
In comparison, 29% of Londoners say they’ve had an STI and 32% of infected Londoners have avoided medical help.
Meanwhile adults in Wales are a far more responsible bunch, with just 10% delaying seeking medical treatment when they know they have an STI.
The research, conducted by PharmacyOutlet.co.uk, found that older generations are far more likely to get STIs treated quickly, with just 11% of over 55s leaving identified STIs untreated.
Meanwhile there’s also a significant gender gap when it comes to admitting and treating infection. While 33% of British men reported having suffered from an STI, just 23% of women surveyed said the same. Of those infected, 14% of men avoided medical attention compared to 10% of women.
Here’s a full breakdown of the results:
Percentage of people who said that they had suffered from an STI:
UK average: 12%
North East: 4%
North West: 7%
Yorkshire and Humberside: 11%
East Midlands: 10%
West Midlands: 8%
East of England: 4%
South East: 12%
South West: 9%
Northern Ireland: 7%
Percentage of people who said they had suffered from an STI but did not see a GP, doctor or pharmacist about it:
UK average: 28%
North East: 33%
North West: 13%
Yorkshire and Humberside: 32%
East Midlands: 33%
West Midlands: 29%
East of England: 25%
South East: 18%
South West: 44%
Northern Ireland: 75%
Commenting on the findings, Hitesh Dodhia, superintendent pharmacist at PharmacyOutlet.co.uk, said: “Today’s findings present extremely worrying reading for both the medical community and the wider British public.
“Despite years of high profile public health campaigns and unprecedented advancements in treatment and health tech, a significant problem remains, most prominently amongst the young.
“Brits exposed to STIs should consider the multitude of discrete treatment options made available by the NHS’ Electronic Prescription Service, online pharmacies and by mail testing to avoid readily treatable health risks being caused by mere embarrassment.”