More than a third of men (34%) say that a diagnosis of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) would have a negative effect on their mental health.
A poll of 2,000 sexually active people from across the UK above the age of 18 by the chemist chain Superdrug found the vast majority (91%) agreed an STI diagnosis would negatively affect their mental health, relationships, social life, love life, general confidence, and even their career.
As well as the 34% who felt it would affect their mental health, 38% said it would knock their general confidence and twice as many men as women thought such a diagnosis would harm their career.
Superdrug carried out the research to gauge the level of STI ‘stigma’ that still exists across the UK.
Half of those polled admitted they wouldn’t even feel comfortable speaking to their long-term partner about STIs.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most trusted group of people to speak to about an STI was a doctor, with 75% saying they would feel comfortable speaking to a medical or healthcare professional.
However, most conceded feeling unable to confide in anyone other than a health professional.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) said they wouldn’t feel comfortable speaking to their friends and 90% said the same about their parents or siblings.