STI on the BBC

We at STI were delighted to see that  one of our research papers (http://sti.bmj.com/content/early/2010/06/07/sti.2009.041954.short?q=w_sti_ahead_tab )  had been picked up by the British Broadcasting Corporation `s news website ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/10401029.stm). It reports a dutch study on STI rates amongst “swingers”  ( heterosexual couples who are practising mate swapping, group sex or visit sex clubs for couples). The study looked at rates of gonorrhoea and chlamydia and found that swingers represented more than half of the STI diagnoses in the over 45 years age group. This clinic ( South Limburg) were able to do this analysis because their clinic has been registering surveillance data on swinging since 2007. 12% of their attendees were recorded as belonging to this group.

Certainly this is not data which sexual health clinics in the UK have been obtaining routinely during consultations or reporting for national surveillance programmes. National guidelines for sexual history taking do not include a specific closed question on swinging so we would be reliant on the patient to volunteer that information, or at the least, disclose their total number of partners and concurrency  in the routine sexual history. Does anyone else work in a clinic or STI prevention service which targets this group ?

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