Recent findings have found that the LGBTQ+ community are more aware of STIs, and get tested more often than heterosexuals.
In the UK almost two-thirds of Brits have never been STI tested, but this is the case for only 36 per cent of homosexuals and 38 per cent of bisexuals according to a recent survey.
The research from Medicine Direct also found that only 18 per cent of homosexuals
On the topic of sex education, 33 per cent stated they never received any education about STIs while they were at school, and a further 20 per cent judged their education as being poor or awful.
The survey of 2,368 Brits illustrates that more needs to be done to normalise regular sexual health testing and reduce stigma around STIs amongst adults.
The findings come as part of a campaign called ‘Fruit of Your Loins’, which aims to raise awareness of STI symptoms and increase conversation surrounding STIs – in the hope of reducing the taboo surrounding them
The campaign uses real fruit to simulate STI symptoms in an effort to make them easier to spot and accessible to see.
Despite there being over 422,000 diagnoses of STIs in 2017 alone, the research also illustrates a lax approach to regular STI testing, with 26% of adults revealing that they’d only get an STI test if they experienced symptoms.
A further one in ten adults would only get an STI test if their sexual partner told them they had an STI.
Adults also display a reluctance to discuss their sexual history with their partners, with nearly a quarter (23 per cent) stating that they would never feel comfortable discussing their sexual history with their sexual partner.
Hussain Abdeh, Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct, said: “With how easy it is these days to get your sexual health checked – whether by postal tests, sexual health clinics or your GP – we’ve identified a real area of improvement for our sexually active population.
“It’s worth remembering that for some STIs, such as chlamydia, there can be no visible symptoms – but they can be very damaging if left untreated. That’s why it’s so important to work regular STI testing into your life and treat it as a normal part of your lifestyle as a sexually responsible individual
“We really hope to help make it normal to check your sexual health regularly and, if in doubt, check it out.”