1 in 4 students will catch an STI in their first year of university
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As many as 1 in 4 students will catch an STI during their first year of university. A recent study conducted by The Student Room revealed that 63% of students engage in unsafe sex and a further 15% of students admitted to having unsafe sex with two or more partners whilst at university. The stigma surrounding sexual health testing still lingers amongst university students as an alarming 50% of students admitted to never having been tested for STIs. The NHS has revealed that STIs including HIV, are on the rise. The 16-24 age group accounts for almost 55% of cases. This demographic also accounts for 63% of chlamydia cases, 52% of genital warts and 42% of herpes cases. Many STIs come with no symptoms and so the need for getting tested is even more important. T The NHS has estimated that an alarming 1 in 4 people who are HIV positive are unaware of their status, increasing the risk of transmission and lowering the chance of survival dramatically. According to a guide published by Fresh Student Living, getting tested is easier than many people think. Testing can either be done in person or using a home testing kit that is then sent off in the post. Testing in person can be done at sexual health clinics, family planning clinics, GUM centres, GP clinics and even some pharmacies. Some universities even provide sexual health testing on campus for their students. The introduction of e-STI testing kits means that testing can be carried out at home. Kits testing for gonorrhoea, syphilis, chlamydia and HIV can be ordered online. The test usually involves a urine sample, saliva swab, genital swab or a blood sample depending on gender and sexual orientation. The privacy and convenience afforded by home testing kits make them a popular choice amongst young people and according to YouGov, demand for home STI testing kits doubled in 2016. Image credit: Peter Evans (cc-by-sa/2.0)
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