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Put safe-sex messages in pubs to curb the rise of STIs

Bars, pubs and nightclubs should put up safe-sex posters to curb the rise of super-gonorrhoea, experts say.

Such messages, which often encourage the use of condoms, make drunken adults think less about sex.

As such, adults exposed to the posters are less likely to partake in boozed-up one night stands that could spread STIs, researchers said.

The findings, by psychologists at the University of West London, come after the emergence of an untreatable strain of gonorrhoea.

Adults exposed to safe-sex posters are less likely to partake in boozed-up one night stands that could spread STIs, researchers said

Its rapid spread across the world triggered the World Health Organization (WHO) to issue a warning in July. It said millions of lives are at risk.

Lead author Dr Henry Johnson said: ‘With the introduction of a safe-sex message, the sexual perceptions of participants became less risky.

‘Such messages could play an important part in reducing risky sexual behaviour that is related to alcohol consumption.’

He said environments where alcohol is served and consumed are ‘traditionally risky’ areas that promote unsafe sex.

Under the influence of alcohol, adults are known to make risky decisions, including ones about sexual behaviours.

A host of previous studies have shown that just one tipple can influence and impact cognitive function and judgement, such as choosing to not wear a condom.

The new research was presented at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Health Psychology annual conference in Cardiff.

How was the study carried out? 


A new antibiotic has been found in the ‘arms race’ against incurable superbugs.

The drug is a new weapon in the fight against a strain of ‘super-gonorrhoea’ similar to that which swept across London, the South East and Midlands last year. 

But the bug, some strains of which are now resistant to every hospital antibiotic, was defeated by British scientists using the antibiotic closthioamide.

While still at least five years away from being available to patients, closthioamide cured 98 per cent of gonorrhoea samples taken from British patients.

The antibiotic, only discovered seven years ago, has also been found to tackle hospital superbug MRSA and deadly E.coli and could go on to be tested against other bacteria, including drug-resistant TB. 

Some 80 students, an age group prone to risky sexual behaviour, were studied in two different laboratory settings.

In one experiment, they were placed in a bar environment without any safe-sex messages. In another, subtle posters were put up around the room.

The researchers found participants, of whom none had consumed alcohol, viewed potential partners to be more sexual and less inhibited in the first setting.

When safe-sex messages were introduced, the effects were weakened, helping to put them off instigating a romantic pursuit. 

But researchers said that more studies are needed, specifically ones that involve drinking alcohol, to determine the effects. 

The rise of super-gonorrhoea 

More than 35,000 people a year are infected with gonorrhoea in England, including record numbers of baby boomers, it was warned recently. 

But last year saw a ‘super’ version of the sexually transmitted infection sweep across across London, the South East and Midlands.

Globally, the infection strikes around 78 million people each year due to a rise in oral sex and a decline in condom use.

Certain strains have developed resistance to all but one treatment, which involves an injection of a specific antibiotic class.

But in August, the WHO confirmed three people worldwide have developed ‘super gonorrhoea’, which is resistant to all forms of treatment.