Only 1 in 5 Irish young people have plans to get an STI check this year 1 month ago

Only 1 in 5 Irish young people have plans to get an STI check this year

"Quite shocking."

Only one in five young Irish people have plans to get an STI check this year.

Just 22 percent of people aged between 18 and 24 said that they had the intention to get tested in 2020, despite the increase of sexually transmitted infections last year.

New research conducted by LetsGetChecked for Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance (SHAG) week showed that only nine percent of 25 to 34 year olds had an intention to get screened this year too.

Similarly, only 14 percent of the younger age bracket stated that they had gotten an STI check in 2019.

Recent data released by the HSE showed that common bacterial sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhoea and chlamydia had increased by seven percent between 2017 and 2018, while syphilis infections were up by 22 percent.

USI Vice President for Welfare Róisín O’Donovan called the results of the survey "quite shocking" as they reflect “very low numbers of students who are getting checked for STIs."

“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," she said.

"We encourage all students to take care of their sexual health while in college, and get checked."

vegan condoms

This focus on students' health has been exemplified across the board this week due to SHAG week, but also because of Valentine's Day,

Provisional figures released by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre show that in the week leading up to Wednesday, February 12th alone, there were 241 cases of chlamydia and 93 cases of gonorrhoea recorded.

In response to this, CarePlus Pharmacy have urged students to "play safe" this week - and every other week.

Ahead of V-Day, they delivered 5,000 free condoms to students in University College Cork in a bid to reduce the number of STIs likely to be contracted this week.

Provisional figures from the HSE have indicated a 16 percent increase in cases of chlamydia since last year, with about half of reported cases occurring in young people between 15 to 24 years.

“Sexual health awareness has come a long way in Ireland, but we believe the message can’t be repeated often enough: ‘be prepared,'" said CarePlus Pharmacist Nigel Moloney.

"There are simple steps to keep in mind in order to avoid facing unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection."

You can find out more about STIs on the HSE's website here.