One In Three People Have Caught An STI While In A Relationship

'It’s quite apparent that we are still not taking STIs seriously.'

One in three Brits have caught a sexually transmitted infection (STI) while in a relationship, a new survey has revealed.

Of those surveyed who said they had caught an STI, 39% said they didn’t tell their other half straight away.

Meanwhile 41% blamed their partner for being unfaithful and passing on the infection to them.

A spokesperson for the company who ran the survey said it proves the nation is “still not taking STIs seriously”.

Jason Hetherington via Getty Images

The survey of more than 2,000 people by formed part of ongoing research into attitudes towards safe sex and knowledge of STIs.

Initially, respondents were questioned as to whether they were single or in a relationship when they contracted their most recent sexually transmitted infection.

Just over a third (34%) said they were in a relationship, more than half (52%) said they were single and the remaining 14% answered with “it’s complicated”.

Participants who told researchers they were in a relationship when they found out they had an STI were then quizzed further into the circumstances surrounding how they developed the infection.

First they were asked, “How did you tell your partner?” to which 41% stated they blamed their partner as they assumed they’d been unfaithful to them.

Meanwhile 39% admitted they didn’t tell them straight away and the remaining 20% said they were “upfront” with their significant other.

Following on from this, these respondents were asked if they actually knew who they caught their infection from, to which 71% stated they did not.

Lastly, these respondents were asked if they were still with their partner and one in five (22%) stated they were.

Researchers asked all of the participants taking part if they’d gotten their infection treated, to which 84% said they had. The remaining 16% stated they had an “incurable STI”.

They then asked participants if they had let any previous sexual partners know they might also have the infection, to which almost one third (31%) of respondents said they had.

The remaining 69% were then asked why they had not done this, and the following five answers emerged as most common:

:: I was too embarrassed

:: I didn’t know how to contact them

:: I would have had to call too many people

:: I assumed they already knew about the STI

:: I didn’t want my partner to know I had slept with other people

“It’s quite apparent that we are still not taking STIs seriously which is a very worrying thought,” said a spokesperson.

“It is absolutely not acceptable to sleep with someone without protection if you know you have an STI.

“Embarrassment is no excuse. Of course it is difficult when you have an incurable STI like HPV or herpes but speaking to someone openly about this before you jump into bed with them is incredibly important and will prevent the infection spreading unnecessarily.”