Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Internet remedies for STIs pose significant public health hazard

20.11.2007
People with sexually transmitted infections are putting themselves at risk by buying treatments over the internet, according to new research by the University of East Anglia.

Less than a quarter of internet vendors gave information on potential side effects of their treatments. They also failed to say if their products would interfere with any prescription medicines that patients might be on, or if there might be harm to patients who were breastfeeding or pregnant. Equally, less than a quarter of vendors provided advice on how to avoid transmission and becoming re-infected.

This study was undertaken by Dr Roberto Vivancos, Dr Yoon Loke and Dr Silke Schelenz at UEA’s School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice. The results are published in the journal Biomedcentral Public Health this month.

The researchers found a total of 77 treatments from 52 different companies on the internet, including ebay. These remedies were aimed at conditions such as genital warts, herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. The average cost was around £50, with the most expensive being offered at £145.

Owing to the stigma associated with sexually transmitted infections, patients may prefer to hide their illness, and choose instead to try out internet remedies in the privacy of their own homes. However, such remedies may prove hazardous if the sellers do not provide detailed advice on adverse effects, or on avoiding transmission and re-infection. If sexual partners are not treated at the same time, the treatment is bound to fail because the patient will be infected again and again. Patients can become unable to have children if gonorrhea and chlamydia are not properly treated.

“It may be easy and convenient to buy your own treatment on the internet but we think that people are taking significant risks in doing so,” said Dr Roberto Vivancos.

“Treatment of sexually transmitted infections is not a simple one-off step of popping the pills or slapping on the creams. Some of these remedies will inevitably fail if sexual partners are not treated and if patients don’t take steps to avoid re-infection.”

The researchers also found that almost half of the products were claimed to be effective, but there was actually very little solid evidence from the vendors to back this up.

“Patients nowadays can easily buy kits from the internet to test themselves for sexually transmitted infections and they may be tempted to do the same when they need treatment,” said Dr Vivancos.

“But the NHS offers a professional, confidential treatment service that is likely to be far better and cheaper than taking chances on an unproven internet remedy.”

Press Office | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uea.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>