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Having a sexually transmitted infection can be embarrassing, but the experts behind E4’s The Sex Clinic have created an anonymous service to help people do just that.
Better2Know provide sexual health testing services, education and information to people nationwide. It has been set up to help boost people’s knowledge about their own sexual health.
According to a poll, a whopping 67 per cent of UK adults wouldn’t necessarily inform a partner if they had an STI.
The majority of those surveyed said it was because they’re scared of how they’d be perceived.
Interestingly, it's becoming common amongst older people with a 42% increase as of 2018. Doctors suggest this is a result of poor sexual health knowledge amongst the older generation, who have often been in monogamous relationships then gone through a divorce and found new partners.
Thanks to this new service, patients are given the option to send an anonymous text or email to update an ex-partner on their STI results.
The message tells the recipient that someone that cares about them has tested positive for an STI, without leaving any details that could identify them. It also details the infection, and how they the recipient can get tested themselves.
Patients can access this via Better2Know’s online patient area, which also offers 24/7 support, treatment details, and information.
Mike Asher, Chairman and CEO of Better2Know (opens in new tab), said ‘STIs are often initially symptomless, so people need to know their status and how to get treatment -whether that’s communicated anonymously or face-to-face.
‘Too often people fail to properly communicate to sexual partners once they have had a positive result. Sometimes patients want to avoid awkwardness or it is because they are upset at the implications of the results.’
The clinic keeps everything confidential, and make sure they offer sufficient support and advice without judging patients. This is part of a wider goal to improve sexual health across the UK.
If you or someone you know would prefer to bite the bullet and tell a partner face-to-face, Better2Know recommend staying calm and accepting that you may not always know how a partner will react to the news.
Relationships can be complicated, especially when you have to have difficult conversations. However, experts say that a 'sleep divorce' can help you to strengthen your relationship.
The best thing to do is to be considerate and offer any emotional support, and help them to access the treatment needed. For more information, you can better2know.co.uk.