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 Novel study underscores microbial individuality
13.12.2019 | Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

nachricht TU Dresden biologists examine sperm quality on the basis of their metabolism
29.11.2019 | Technische Universität Dresden

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: Virus multiplication in 3D

Vaccinia viruses serve as a vaccine against human smallpox and as the basis of new cancer therapies. Two studies now provide fascinating insights into their unusual propagation strategy at the atomic level.

For viruses to multiply, they usually need the support of the cells they infect. In many cases, only in their host’s nucleus can they find the machines,...

Im Focus: Cheers! Maxwell's electromagnetism extended to smaller scales

More than one hundred and fifty years have passed since the publication of James Clerk Maxwell's "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field" (1865). What would our lives be without this publication?

It is difficult to imagine, as this treatise revolutionized our fundamental understanding of electric fields, magnetic fields, and light. The twenty original...

Im Focus: Highly charged ion paves the way towards new physics

In a joint experimental and theoretical work performed at the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, an international team of physicists detected for the first time an orbital crossing in the highly charged ion Pr⁹⁺. Optical spectra were recorded employing an electron beam ion trap and analysed with the aid of atomic structure calculations. A proposed nHz-wide transition has been identified and its energy was determined with high precision. Theory predicts a very high sensitivity to new physics and extremely low susceptibility to external perturbations for this “clock line” making it a unique candidate for proposed precision studies.

Laser spectroscopy of neutral atoms and singly charged ions has reached astonishing precision by merit of a chain of technological advances during the past...

Im Focus: Ultrafast stimulated emission microscopy of single nanocrystals in Science

The ability to investigate the dynamics of single particle at the nano-scale and femtosecond level remained an unfathomed dream for years. It was not until the dawn of the 21st century that nanotechnology and femtoscience gradually merged together and the first ultrafast microscopy of individual quantum dots (QDs) and molecules was accomplished.

Ultrafast microscopy studies entirely rely on detecting nanoparticles or single molecules with luminescence techniques, which require efficient emitters to...

Im Focus: How to induce magnetism in graphene

Graphene, a two-dimensional structure made of carbon, is a material with excellent mechanical, electronic and optical properties. However, it did not seem suitable for magnetic applications. Together with international partners, Empa researchers have now succeeded in synthesizing a unique nanographene predicted in the 1970s, which conclusively demonstrates that carbon in very specific forms has magnetic properties that could permit future spintronic applications. The results have just been published in the renowned journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Depending on the shape and orientation of their edges, graphene nanostructures (also known as nanographenes) can have very different properties – for example,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The Future of Work

03.12.2019 | Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supporting structures of wind turbines contribute to wind farm blockage effect

13.12.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Chinese team makes nanoscopy breakthrough

13.12.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Tiny quantum sensors watch materials transform under pressure

13.12.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>