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Sex Degrees of Separation online test may make you think twice about STIs

How many sexual partners have you had? You may have a definitive number in your head but a new online test may shock you.

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In an effort to raise awareness of sexual health and sexually transmitted infections — the latter are reportedly on the rise — LloydsPharmacy Online has developed an online calculator called Sex Degrees of Separation. The calculator reveals your total number of indirect sexual connections, based on average estimates.

New calculator tool measures how many people you have indirect sexual links to
Image: LloydsPharmacy Online

So how does this calculator work?

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Using the principle of the sociological idea that we are all connected to one another by only six other mutual acquaintances, the calculator asks participants how many men and women they have had sex with and what age group these partners fell into.

The age groups are divided into six different categories: 16 to 19, 20 to 24, 25 to 34, 35 to 44, 45 to 64 and 65+. Multiply the number of partners you’ve had and during what age group by the number of partners your partner is statistically likely to have had, and by the partners of those partners and so on, and the end result of how many people you could have been sexually exposed to is likely to be in the millions.

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While the calculator is not a diagnostic tool it does make you think twice about the risks involved with both protected and unprotected sex, and how with each new partner the risk of being exposed to an STI is increased.

This is definitely one study that may help encourage regular testing. For more information, or if you have any questions about your sexual health, please speak to your local general practitioner, a clinic or even order an STI test from LloydsPharmacy’s Online Doctor service.

The calculator tool was created to coincide with FPA Sexual Health Week 2015, which runs from Sept. 14 to 20 and will focus on informing the public about sexual pleasure and wellbeing.

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