We're all aware of the dangers of having unprotected sex. We've been educated since grade school, or perhaps even younger by our parents, why it is necessary to treat our bodies with respect in this sense. But all that knowledge didn't prepare us for this.
According to new research, hundreds of thousands of people could unknowingly have a sexually transmitted infection that has just been identified. The STI is called Mycoplasma genitalium (MG), and first arose over 30 years ago.
Apparently one percent of the British population between the ages of 16 and 44 is infected, but they are unaware of it because of one simple thing.
The infection rarely results in any symptoms. People prone to contracting it are those who have more sexual partners, don't use condoms, or who live in deprived locations. The researchers also believe that over 90 percent of the cases in men and over 66 percent in women are related to people between the ages of 25 and 44 years.
While the long-term effects of MG are unknown, research believes it can result in inflammation of the urethra and/or cervix, pelvic inflammatory disease and can even cause infertility in women.
Analyzing 4,500 from Britain's third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, it was found that MG was predominant in up to 1 percent of the general population between the ages of 16 and 44 who had revealed to have had at least one sexual partner in their lifetime. The rate of infection was discovered to be greater in people with more than four sexual partners in the past year; 5.2 percent in men and 3.1 percent in women.
[bctt tweet="Researchers Say This New Dangerous Infection Often Comes With No Symptoms"]
MG being an STI was also backed by the fact that the 200 16-17-year-olds who had not had sex did not prove to have the infection. Furthermore, the study looked at ethnicity, number of partners and areas of deprivation in association with MG. This analysis proved that those who partake in risky sexual behaviors, black men, and those located in deprived areas were at higher risk.
Yet, of those who tested positive, the majority had no symptoms. Among the women who did, they reported bleeding after sex. Dr Pam Sonnenberg, who is the lead author of the paper, noted that most of the infections would be missed if only those with symptoms are tested. Because of this issue, more research is needed on MG.
The findings, which are published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, comes after warnings regarding an extreme outbreak of the STI gonorrhoea in England, which is highly resistant to drugs. Close to 35,000 cases of this condition were reported in England alone just last year. It is the second most common bacterial STI in the UK. Chlamydia is the first.
It's also been found that dating apps like Tinder, Grindr and Happn are linked to STIs. Dr Peter Greenhouse, of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH), warns that the usage of such apps could cause an extreme rise of HIV in heterosexual people. "You are able to turn over partners more quickly with a dating app and the quicker you change partners, the more likely you are to get infections," he said to BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat. "What really worries me is that we are just at a tipping point for HIV. If enough people change partners quickly, and they've got other untreated sexually transmitted infections, it might just start an explosion of HIV in the heterosexual population. Apps could do that."
What are your thoughts on these findings?
Source: Daily Mail
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