Cheating may raise your STI risk
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People who have many sexual partners may increase their risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI), especially if they do not use condoms. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, individuals who secretly cheat on their partners are less likely to practice safer sex than those who had other sexual relationships with their partner's knowledge. Furthermore, people who cheat in secret have a greater chance of being under the influence of drugs and alcohol when they have sex.
Researchers from The University of Michigan found that condom use for vaginal and anal sex was 27 percent and 35 percent lower for people who had sex outside of their relationship without their partner's consent, than among those whose significant others knew that they were cheating.
Of the more than 1,600 people who participated in the study, 801 said that they had engaged in sex with someone other than their partner. Furthermore, 493 of these individuals said that this happened with their partner's knowledge, while 308 were cheating.
"More work is needed in both prevention of and education about sexually transmitted diseases," explained Irwin Goldstein, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine. "This research is of particular interest because it reveals that monogamous relationships are not always monogamous which can have sexual health implications."
Researcher Terri Conley, Ph.D., from the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan, added that people who do not believe that they can be monogamous should think about the risk that promiscuity can pose to their partner, and consider discussing the possibility of an open relationship. At the very least, people need to practice safer sex when they have multiple sexual partners.
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