New research released today has revealed that Irish young people are not being proactive enough when it comes to getting checked for STIs.
A new survey commissioned by LetsGetChecked, a home testing and health insights company, in time for SHAG Week found that nearly 4 in 5 young Irish adults do not plan to get checked for an STI in 2020.
“There is an epidemic of STIs in the western world at the moment.” Dr Dominic Rowley, Medical Director of LetsGetChecked said about the survey.”This is something that urgently needs to be addressed. The findings are particularly alarming in this era of increased information and ease of access to testing.”
Describing the findings as “quite shocking”, the Union of Students in Ireland’s (USI) Vice President for Welfare Róisín O’Donovan said the following:
“It's good to see there is an awareness of STIs among students but students need to make sure it's coming from a reliable source such as the HSE website, sexualwellbeing.ie. We encourage all students to take care of their sexual health while in college, and get checked!”
The survey also found that an increasing number of students are googling symptoms for STIs online.
Here are some of the big takeaways from the study:
- Almost 4 in 5 young Irish adults have no plans to get an STI check in 2020
37% of 18–24 year olds have researched STI symptoms online, just 14% had an STI
check in 2019 and only 22% plan to have one in 2020.
- A survey of over 1,000 Irish adults – conducted by Empathy Research – revealed that almost 4 in 5 18–24 year olds have no plans to get tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in 2020. It didn’t get much better amongst 25–34 year olds, with only 9% stating they intended to get screened.
- While a decline in STI checks in the 25–34 year old bracket can partially be explained by the
increase in long-term partnerships as people age, the indication is that regular STI check ups in Ireland is still relatively low.
- Only 14 percent of 18–24 year olds said they’d actually had an STI check last year.
- The HSE found that STI notifications in Ireland increased by 7 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, with common bacterial sexually transmitted infections gonorrhoea and chlamydia up 7 per cent and syphilis infections were up 22 per cent.
- Their survey found that 37 percent of 18–24 year olds have researched their STI symptoms online, while 27 percent of 25–34 year olds did the same.
Getting tested for an STI is easy - consult with this guide to find a testing centre near you. It's clearly a thing that more Irish young people need to be doing more of.