The UK is braced for rise in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) after society took a big step closer to normal on Monday - and sexual health clinics say they are expecting a busy late spring and summer.
Many places of business re-opened on Monday - including drinking and dining outside bars and restaurants - as part of the government’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown initiative.
The British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) says sexual health clinics tend to get a lot busier when lockdown restrictions are lifted, and has advised people to visit them as soon as they can if they’re planning on having sex with a new partner soon.
The president of BASHH, Dr John McSorley, told the Daily Star: “If sex with a new partner is on your mind, however vaguely, then the time to get sorted is now.
“The UK entered the Covid-19 pandemic with gonorrhea and syphilis at levels not seen for a generation or two. It would take some time to get back to that. It would happen slowly at first, then quickly. If we do all we can now, we could avoid it.”
He also warned that high levels of STIs could trigger an increase in the spread of drug-resistant forms of infection, saying this is a “significant threat to our future well-being.”
The World Health Organization has similar sentiments. It spoke about a new strain of gonorrhea that is resistant to treatment.
Nicknamed ‘super gonorrhea, WHO’s Dr Teodora Wi believes that the STI could possibly become untreatable with antibiotics due to “unrestricted access to antimicrobials” and “inappropriate selection and overuse of antibiotics.”
All in all, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself, but make sure to receive as much sexual education as possible and take the right precautions to ensure safety at all times.