Isolation and lockdowns may have a positive effect on lowering the incidence of sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, a British newspaper is reporting.
Since people cannot leave their homes to socialize, that makes it less likely people are having sex with new partners and passing on STIs.
"If we could test and treat everybody for their infections now, that would be a game-changer going forward as people slowly move towards normality," said Dr. John McSorley, a sexual health doctor and president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, according to the Independent.
McSorley urged people to take at-home STI tests now to prevent people with infections from spreading disease when the lockdown ends. Since more than half of the sexual healthcare services are closed in the United Kingdom due to the coronavirus outbreak, home testing is more important than ever.
Sexual experts say there’s never been a point in history, even during the HIV epidemic, that afforded a more "clean-cut period where collectively — as a population — people stopped having sex with new partners," according to the Independent.
Not surprisingly, manufacturers of condoms report that sales are down, says the newspaper.
In the U.S., health officials say they are concerned that suspending or reducing services that monitor sexually transmitted diseases may actually lead to more outbreaks in syphilis, HIV, and chlamydia, according to The Verge. Some jurisdictions have already seen increased clusters of cases.
Rates of sexually transmitted infections have been rising steadily over the past few years, reaching an all-time high in 2018. With COVID-19 demanding the majority of public health services, local health departments are worried they'll lose even more ground.
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