Sexually Transmitted Infections or STI’s can be caught by anyone. They’re an unfortunate but real problem for sexually active people. Provided you practice safe sex, they shouldn’t be a problem, but even if you’re usually safe, accidents can happen. If they do, you will likely be googling the symptoms and possible treatments.
STIs aren’t regional, but people living in different places might google different ones. Certain infections may be more common in certain parts of the world.
Stress Free Health Testing is an online STI testing clinic. Using their expertise, they have looked into what STIs people are Googling outside of the US. They were interested in which ones most people seem to be looking up in individual countries. They’ve gathered this research by putting together a list of various STI’s and found out what the average number of searches per month is for them. Each of the data sets focused on a different country.
What are the most googled STIs in Canada?
In Canada, the top three most searched for STIs are chlamydia, herpes, and syphilis. On average, these STIs are searched for the same number of times each month. This is probably because these are the most well-known STIs. Even if people aren’t showing symptoms, they may still be curious and wish to educate themselves. These infections do have some similar symptoms. That means that people could be searching for these infections, trying to narrow down what they have.
Or it could be that people wish to find out more about all three of them. Just because someone is searching for these terms, it doesn’t mean that they have an STI. Some of these searches have likely been people looking out of curiosity, or to educate themselves.
60,500 people have searched for these three STIs on average per month. A further 49,500 people searched for scabies on average, and 40,500 searched for genital warts. These are all STIs that show physical symptoms, yet they can remain dormant for a while. That could mean people are searching to educate themselves, or it could be that they want to know how to deal with them.
As well as that, herpes was googled under two separate terms. 60,500 people searched for herpes, and 27,100 searched for genital herpes. Though these are technically two different infections, they are both caused by the same virus. In fact, you can catch genital herpes from a cold sore during oral sex. With that in mind, you can add the results together for a total of 87,600. That makes herpes the most searched STI in Canada.
What are the most Googled STIs in the UK?
Moving away from Canada, the UK is like us in many ways. Stress Free Health Testing decided to see if the STIs people Google are similar as well.
In general, there were more searches for STIs in the UK than there were for Canada. Yet, despite the physical size difference between the countries, the population of the UK is larger. That would explain how there were many more searches, despite the UK being a much smaller country.
Around 110,000 people search for chlamydia on average per month in the UK. The same number of people have also looked up genital warts and scabies. Once again, two of these STIs have symptoms in common. Scabies has quite different symptoms.
It’s rather interesting that in two countries, the top three all had the same number of results (110,000 for the top three in the UK and 60,500 for the top three in Canada). Chlamydia seems to be a common STI that people search for around the world, so it’s not surprising that it was a top search in the UK and Canada.
Syphilis was lower down in the results than it was in Canada. Yet more people searched for it in the UK. Around 90,500 people search for syphilis on average there. That suggests it may be more of a problem in 2021 than some people might realize. To many, syphilis is a disease from the past, but frequent searches suggest it’s still a problem.
Which STIs are the most googled STIs in the rest of the world?
Looking at the results, there were certain STIs that popped up many times. Like in the UK and Canada, Chlamydia is something that a large number of people are searching for. Herpes and scabies were also searched for with regularity. Then in some of the poorer countries, Gonorrhea appears to be a very common search.
STI’s don’t discriminate by nationality, so it does make sense that you would see similar searches come up multiple times. However, it is also interesting that a lot of these STIs are very similar in symptoms, such as spots and rashes.
It is worth noting that though scabies can be considered an STI, sex isn’t the only way you can contract it. Scabies gets spread through mites burrowing into the skin and causing rashes. Therefore, if a friend or loved one has scabies, you will need to be cautious while supporting them. You should avoid physical contact as much as possible. It would be best to confirm with them whether it’s a contagious rash or not, and if it is, avoid contact until it’s cleared.
Which STIs are googled the least in the world?
The research conducted has also revealed which STIs people are Googling least. The reason for these STIs appearing less frequently as Google searches could suggest that they are less prevalent today. People might not know enough about them to start searching or there may not be enough symptoms to prompt people to start searching.
One of the STIs that had very few searches worldwide was mucopurulent cervicitis. It is an STI that women can suffer from, and it gets spread by the bacteria from other STIs and leads to cervical bleeding. It does appear to be rare, and it’s something that few people will have heard about. It might not be something that men need to be aware of, so it’s not surprising that fewer people have searched it.
Chancroid is another ulcer-causing STI. Fortunately, whilst contagious it does appear to be rare, and it is curable. Few people have searched for it often in any country.
STIs that you might have expected to see more searches for include pubic lice and HIV. With HIV, it could be that people are better educated about the disease nowadays. The AIDS epidemic of the 1980s led to many deaths, and the health industry has worked hard to educate the public about how they can catch it. A lot has been done to break down the stigma surrounding the illness, so people may be more comfortable talking about it with their healthcare provider, rather than turning to an online search.
That said, in some of the poorer countries, the search results for HIV are higher.
It’s hard to say why people haven’t been searching for pubic lice. It could be that few people catch them. The opposite could also be true but people can generally tell when they have pubic lice. They can be treated with over-the-counter remedies. That means people could be going to the pharmacy and getting treatment immediately. In this case, they probably wouldn’t google it.
Are there any countries where STIs are rarely googled?
There are some countries where not STIs were googled much less frequently. Both the number of searches for specific STIs and the number of STIs being searched for were low in these countries. Often these were less wealthy countries where people may have restricted access to the internet which would hamper their ability to search for STIs if they have them.
Some wealthy countries like Hong Kong also showed few Google searches. This could be due to many different reasons, and not necessarily because there are fewer people with STIs.
In some countries, though there were many search terms listed, the search volume wasn’t high. That means that people have the opportunity, but they still don’t search these terms out often. It could be that there is more information out there on these STI’s, or it could be because of a smaller population. Either way, it makes a noticeable difference to the numbers.