This week marks Sexual Health Awareness Week in the UK. It’s an important event on the pharmaceutical calendar, raising much-needed awareness of a serious health issue that is too often overlooked.
In light of this, PharmacyOutlet.co.uk has released research collected from a sample of more than 2,000 adults across the UK, finding that a concerning number of people are leaving sexually transmitted infections (STIs) untreated out of fear, embarrassment or shame. We found that 12% of UK adults – the equivalent of 6.16 million people – have been infected with an STI. However, 11% of over 55s admitted that they have left identified STIs untreated, with this figure rising dramatically to 33% among 18-34 year olds.
Our research also uncovered that London is at the epicentre of this problem. Almost a third (29%) of the capital’s inhabitants admitted to having been infected with a sexually transmitted disease. What’s more, Londoners emerged as the least likely in the nation to receive treatment, with 32% avoiding medical help.
Given the serious risks associated with this problem, PharmacyOutlet.co.uk’s study has been featured in The Metro. As this article and our comments on the subject make clear, failing to seek help from a pharmacist, GP or doctor for an STI can have grave repercussions, causing initially treatable health problems to flare up and become far more severe.
The first important lesson is to always take precautions; use contraception and practicing safe sex is vital to ensuring that STIs do not spread. It is essential that those who do contract an STI such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and herpes visit a medical professional to receive suitable treatment as soon as possible.
For those worried about having to visit their pharmacist regularly to pick up medication to treat an STI, the NHS’s Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) can take a lot of the stress out of the process. The EPS can send your prescription directly to your chosen address without you ever having to leave your home.