Secret love cheats pose greater STIs risk than open sexual relationships
People who are sexually unfaithful without their partner's knowledge have a greater risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) than those who had other sexual relationships with their partner's consent, as they are less likely to practice safe sex, say researchers
They were also more likely to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the encounter.
In a new study, researchers from the University of Michigan, USA, found that condom use for vaginal and anal sex was 27 percent and 35 percent lower in sexually unfaithful relationships and drug and alcohol use was 64 percent higher.
Of the 1,647 people who replied to an online advertisement, 801 had had sex with someone other than their primary partner. Of those, 493 stated this had happened as part of a negotiated non-monogamous relationship and 308 said that they were sexually unfaithful while in a committed monogamous relationship.
“Our research suggests that people who are unfaithful to their monogamous romantic partners pose a greater risk for STIs than those who actively negotiate non-monogamy in their relationship,” said lead author Dr. Terri D. Conley from the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan.
“Monogamy can be an effective method for preventing the spread of STIs, but only if couples test negative for STIs at the start of the relationship and remain faithful while they are together. If people do not find monogamy appealing or feasible, they clearly need to think about the risk this poses to their partner and consider whether an open relationship would suit their needs better, and better protect their relationship partners,” Dr. D added.
The study appeared in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.