A shocking number of young people don’t know what STIs are
A recent survey revealed that one in five young people aged 18-24 does not understand what an STI is.
The survey was carried out by The Mix, a UK-based support charity for people under the age of 25, and recorded the answers of over 1,000 young adults to learn more about their sexual behaviors, awareness, and safety.
The results found that 20 percent of respondents admitted to not knowing what an STI is, and over a third of respondents had never had an STI test. Out of those who had never been tested before, 44 percent said they didn’t feel the need to because they always use protection and 20 percent said they were too embarrassed to get tested.
These results are especially disturbing because 15 to 24-year olds are most at risk of being diagnosed with an STI compared to other age groups in the UK.
Furthermore, although most of the respondents who hadn’t been tested before said they would get tested if they had symptoms, the biggest problem is that most STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, often have no symptoms.
In response to the survey results, The Mix launched a new sexual health campaign called Getting Some? Get Tested with the goal of protecting young adults in the UK from contracting STIs and spreading them to others.
Zoe Bailie, Director of Brand at the The Mix, said to Mirror, “We know young people have a lot to deal with and testing for STIs isn’t always the first thing they think about when it comes to their sex life.”
“Getting Some? Get Tested is a sexual health campaign aiming to not only educate young people about the need to think about their sexual health, but also to understand that their sexual health could affect their partners’ as well.”
England has recently been advancing communication with young people surrounding sex and relationships, announcing that schools will be required to teach students about issues including gender identity and same-sex marriage by September 2020 under a new draft government guidance.
The draft guidance for secondary schools states: “Pupils should be taught the facts and the law about sex, sexuality, sexual health and gender identity in an age-appropriate and inclusive way.
“All pupils should feel that the content is relevant to them and their developing sexuality.”
The goal of the guidance is to show students that there are all different kinds of families and attractions and teach them about safe sex practices.