Research shows you could already have an STI without ever having sex

Britain saw a rise in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) after the lockdown ended in June for … obvious reasons, prompting doctors and pharmacists to issue an urgent statement on the importance of getting get tested.

The MARS Health Department found recent data from Google which revealed that there was a huge increase in the number of people seeking cures for the most common STIs between November 2020 and October 2021.

To be precise, during this period more than 28,000 people searched for the phrase “how to get rid of genital warts”, 19,790 turned to Google doctor for treatment for chlamydia and 9,430 people searched. ways to get relief from gonorrhea. .

But while the research data is somewhat skewed by the fact that these three STIs are some of the best known, there is another infection to be wary of that can be transmitted without the need for sex.

Credit: Alamy

HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a common virus that is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact. There are over 150 subtypes of the HPV virus, and almost 40 are known to be transmitted through sexual contact.

The virus is considered the most common form of STIs, and almost all sexually active men and women are susceptible to contracting it at some point in their life.

Although there is no cure for the virus itself, many HPV infections often go away on their own and are cleared from the body by the immune system without the host’s knowledge.

However, some strains of HPV persist, which can lead to debilitating genital warts and even cancer.

HPV infections worldwide are known to be responsible for all cases of genital warts and about 5 percent of all new cancers occurring in both men and women.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Using condoms every time you have sex can go a long way in reducing the spread of HPV.

However, since condoms do not cover the entire genital area, they are not 100 percent effective in preventing the spread of the virus.

A person with genital warts can also help reduce the spread of HPV by avoiding all sexual activity until they have been removed.

Generally speaking, STIs are easily treated with antibiotics if caught early, so don’t be afraid to talk to a doctor if you’ve recently had unprotected sex with a new partner.

The same is true if your partner has had symptoms, if you have been in a situation where you may have been exposed to an infection, or if you are looking to have a child.

Common signs of infection may include a strange, smelly discharge, unusual pain or bleeding after sex, pain in the abdomen or testicles, pain when passing urine, itching or a burning sensation around the breast. genital area, growths such as blisters, sores or warts and black powder. or small whitish dots on the inside of your underwear.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, please consult a healthcare practitioner immediately.

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