Many engage in risky sexual behaviour

  • Deborah Condon

Almost one in three Irish adults who have had unprotected sex admit that they did not think about the risk of catching a sexually transmitted infection (STI) at the time, according to a new survey.

Furthermore, many people have been engaging in risky behaviour since the very first time they had sex, with half of both men and women admitting that they did not use any type of protection, such as a condom, when they lost their virginity.

And around one in 10 admitted that they had lost their virginity to someone they had not been seeing for very long.

The survey, which was carried out in 36 countries worldwide, involved over 29,000 people, including more than 500 in Ireland. The results were released ahead of World Aids Day on December 1.

They show that while almost one in three did not think about the risk of contracting an STI when having unprotected sex, one in four felt it was a mistake and regretted their action.

The main reason given for taking the risk was a belief that the person they were having sex with was STI-free. However, almost one in five of those in a relationship admitted that they did not even know if their partner had ever had an STI.

Meanwhile, when it comes to the number of sexual partners they have had, Irish men claim to have had an average of 17 - the same as men in the UK, but less than men in the US (20) or Italy (25).

Women claim to have had an average of eight sexual partners - fewer than UK and US women (both 10).

The survey also revealed that 9% of men and 5% of women in relationship are also currently having sex with other partners.

The survey was commissioned by Durex.

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