One in five Irish admit to not using protection during casual sex despite rise in STIs
Everyone knows the rules, but it seems many of us aren’t that bothered about following them.
A study has found that almost one in five Irish people don’t use protection when having casual sex – despite a startling rise in the number of sexually transmitted infections in this country.
The survey, carried out by Healthy Ireland last year, found that 17pc of people having sex outside of a steady relationship do not use any form of contraception.
Condoms in particular have proven particularly unpopular with just 24pc of people admitting to using one when they last had sex.
Even more frightening was the statistic that 54pc of men did not use a condom when they most recently had sex with another man.
The shocking figures have been published as it was revealed that the number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has quadrupled since 1995.
The figures show that there were 12,626 infections reported in 2014, compared to just 3,361 in 1995.
In 2014, the most commonly diagnosed STI was chlamydia, with a reported 6,695 cases.
The survey also found that STIs are most common among young people aged between 15 and 24, and among men who have sex with men.
A new sexual health awareness campaign, launched by the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU), the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme and the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA), urges more Irish people to speak to their pharmacist about sexual health and undergo STI checks.
“It is critical that people take steps to protect their health and get tested,” said Kathy Maher, president of the IPU.
She also pointed out that 80pc of STIs are symptomless.
“For that reason, even if you feel healthy, if you have had unprotected sex, you should ask your pharmacist for advice about getting tested. Early diagnosis is critical in helping to prevent the spread of STIs,” she explained.