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Patients buy STI remedies from web

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People with sexually transmitted infections are putting themselves at risk by buying treatments over the internet, according to University of East Anglia researchers.

Less than a quarter of vendors gave information on potential side effects, researchers said, after finding 77 treatments available on the internet.

‘It may be easy and convenient to buy your own treatment on the internet but we think that people are taking significant risks in doing so,’ said study author Dr Roberto Vivancos.

‘Treatment of sexually transmitted infections is not a simple one-off step of popping the pills or slapping on the creams,’ he said. ‘Some of these remedies will inevitably fail if sexual partners are not treated and if patients don’t take steps to avoid re-infection.’

BMC Public Health (2007) 7: 333

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