The overwhelming majority of Americans and Britons apparently have the same gut reaction to embarrassing problems. Instead of actively seeking tests or treatment, nearly all U.S. and British men and women spend a considerable amount of time Googling sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). What may be just as surprising is that people are searching for the almost the very same infections and diseases, no matter where they are located in relation to “the pond.”
What Are The Top Search Queries?
In the U.S. and U.K., Internet users are most likely to search for chlamydia and then genital warts. Citizens of both countries are also likely to search for herpes, HIV/AIDs, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HPV. The one main difference: Brits are significantly more likely to search for herpes than Americans. The study, sponsored by U.K. drugstore Superdrug, also notes a correlation between searches in the U.S. and actually having the disease (i.e., Americans in regions with a high volume of searches for any particular STD are more likely to have it than peers/regions that aren’t searching for information about STDs). In any case, many STDs are curable — and nearly all are treatable. Whether in the U.S. or the U.K., a better use of time would be getting tested and treated, if applicable.
What People Should Be Doing
There are several reasons that people may be reluctant to get tested for STDs. These reasons range from embarrassment to busy schedules. Thankfully, in the U.S. and the U.K. (in England), patients have options. One of the 20,000 family care physicians working for free health clinics or urgent care facilities can perform STD testing for men and women, sparing them the embarrassment that may be associated with going to their regular doctor. There are also many 24 hour walk in clinics that offer fast STD testing, providing a convenient option for patients who need to work around a busy schedule. (Only 29% of primary care physicians, on the other hand, hold non-traditional hours.)
Even with high Google search volumes, only 40% of sexually active women have been tested for the top search query, chlamydia. People of all ages and nationalities can benefit from visiting health care clinics for free, fast, and convenient STD testing for men and women.