60% of Irish people have never had an STI test according to a recent survey carried out by LetsGetChecked. 40% of those surveyed admit report that they would be open to having a frank conversation about their sexual health with new partners, illustrating a stigma that remains in Dublin and further afield around sexual health and getting tested.
60% of people in Dublin have never had a sexual health check-up, according to research commissioned by Irish start-up LetsGetChecked, which provides discreet and convenient access to home sexual health screening.
The stigma related to sexual health contributes to an increase of STIs in Ireland, recently reported by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.
9,764 people in Ireland were diagnosed with an STI last year. Chlamydia remains the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease. 6,707 reported cases in 2014, represent 68% of all reported STIs in Ireland. Of these cases, the majority of diagnoses occur within the 20-24 age bracket. 54% of females and 46% of males contracted the infection.
Chlamydia is of most concern to medical practitioners including Dr. Dominic Rowley, Medical Director of LetsGetChecked, who advocates free chlamydia testing for those under the age of 25.
The LetsGetChecked Perspective
Commenting on the research, Peter Foley, CEO of LetsGetChecked says ‘The most worrying outcome from this research is that 90% of Dublin consumers say they have never had an STI, but only 40% have actually had a sexual health check-up. With a large proportion of STIs displaying little to no symptoms, people cannot afford to be presumptive when it comes to their sexual health. By providing access to fast, accurate and anonymous healthcare testing, LetsGetChecked opens up opportunities for Irish people to become more proactive about their sexual heath.’
Dr. Dominic Rowley, Medical Director added: “From a patient perspective our service overcomes the physical and emotional barriers to getting tested by giving people the option to test in the privacy and comfort of their home. It also offers reassurance as our kits are CE marked and compliant with the European Medical Device Directive 93/42/EEC. We take our testing standards very seriously. LetsGetChecked is partnered with a leading international laboratory that is CPA* approved, which is the highest possible level of pathology accreditation. LetsGetChecked users receive the same high-quality, confidential testing practices as those who attend a clinic or GP.
Dr. Dominic adds: “A contributing factor to the rise in STIs in Ireland is undoubtedly a closeted prevailing attitude to sexual health and the stigma attached to getting tested. Not only do we address this, but importantly, we also provide actionable information and robust clinical pathways for customers in need of testing, treatment and care.”
Written by Hannah Kingston | Approved by Medical Director Dominic Rowley