A recent study shows an increasing risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases while abroad. Screening for such diseases at return is an absolute must.
The paper in the British Medical Journal says, that more than 30 million UK residents - about half the population - travel abroad each year.
Karen Rogstad, a consultant in the department of genito-urinary medicine at the Royal Hallamshire hospital in Sheffield, has found an "alarming increase" in the number of sexually transmitted infections. Foreign travel appears to be responsible for a small but significant proportion, including 21% of syphilis cases in men.
Nine per cent of people with gonorrhoea reported having sex abroad in the previous three months. Bisexual or gay men mostly had sex in the US and Europe, while hetero-sexual men had sex in the Caribbean or Far East.
Women mainly reported new sexual encounters in the Caribbean, the paper said.
Many new cases of HIV infection in the UK were the result of encounters abroad - a quarter of the UK-born women infected between 2000 and 2002, and 69% of men, of whom probably 22% were infected in Thailand.
"The ultimate risk holiday is that of the sex tourist" the author said.
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