‘Hot Vax Summer’ Could Lead to STD Spike, Warn Scientists
Scientists in the US are warning that the freedom of a ‘hot vax summer’ could lead to a boom in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), as people make up for lost time and connections lost to social distancing and lockdowns.
NBC News reports that David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors says that people are expecting a new ‘summer of love’ as the world emerges from the pandemic, which, unfortunately, will drive STD rates higher.
It has driven concerns for STD rates in the US and the UK, as not only are more people having unprotected sex, and potentially spreading more STDs, but fewer people are getting screened for them too.
A study in the US from May found that screening for STDs has significantly dropped during the lockdowns of 2020 - up to 59 per cent for female patients and 63 per cent for males - meaning that an expected 27,659 chlamydia and 5,577 gonorrhoea cases were potentially missed.
However, Marcus Sandling, the clinical director of sexual health at Callen-Lorde, a New York community health centre that serves the LGBTQ community believes that the pandemic may have taught lessons on how to communicate about our health issues and related risks.
Sandling told Buzzfeed: “I feel like the pandemic was kind of a useful tool when discussing STIs with patients, particularly after positives.
“Both contracting an STI as well as contracting COVID are essentially episodes of infectious disease transmission where one partner may be completely unaware of their current infection.”
No doubt we are all excited to resume our social lives, and our sex lives, but it is vital to ensure you are protected. Use a barrier method of contraception, including condoms and dental dams, and make sure you get an STD test after each sexual partner, which is quick and easy, and even at-home postal versions available.
And when using condoms, don’t forget to stock up on water-based gel lube, available in our online store.