An expert has warned of a potential "boom" in sexually transmitted infections as Brits return from their summer holidays.
Many holidaymakers are expected to bring back unwanted souvenirs in the form of STIs with randy tourists – particularly on hen and stag dos – being less careful about using protection while abroad.
A Censuswide survey commissioned by Your Sexual Health found that out of 2,000 UK adults aged 18 to 55, more than one in 10 had caught an STI while on a trip – and half of those were unlucky enough to have it happen more than once.
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Private GP and Your Sexual Health medical director Dr Rashid Bani said: "[It is] hugely concerning to see such an enormous percentage of the public not taking sexual health seriously.
"More people having unprotected sex over the season will likely lead to a rise in the number of people requiring STI testing on their return home.
"This will place additional pressure on existing sexual health services and a stretched NHS."
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He also warned an "STD (sexually transmitted disease) boom" was "on the horizon" if Brits didn't start taking action to protect themselves.
Worryingly, the NHS recorded more than 400 new STD diagnoses every day in people aged 15 to 24.
Cases of both gonorrhoea and syphilis also reached record levels in 2022.
Incidences of gonorrhoea were up 50.3% on the previous year to 82,592, while cases of the potentially-lethal disease syphilis, which can cause white or grey warty growths, rashes and flu-like symptoms, rose 15.2% to 8,692.
An increase in testing is one reason why cases have gone up so drastically – but health experts say these figures strongly suggest more transmission of STIs.
Experts chillingly predicted the trend will continue, with hen and stag do season now in full swing.
Dr Hamish Mohammed, consultant epidemiologist at the UKHSA, said: "We've recently seen record levels of gonorrhoea with large rises particularly in young people.
"If you're having sex with new or casual partners, wear a condom and get tested regularly."
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