Analysis of Google search trends has shown a pattern of remarkable regional variations for interest in information about and cures for different kinds of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) across Britain, Europe and the world.
The report, seen by Breitbart London and commissioned by Superdrug for its Online Doctor service, cites researchers who queried where the most on-line searches are made for particular phrases, such as “Can you get Herpes from a toilet seat”, and “premature ejaculation treatment”. Using these geo-tagged searches, a picture has clearly emerged of which STDs are of most interest in particular places.
Comparing the United Kingdom to the United States, the research found the most searched for STD in Britain was Chlamydia, whereas in the USA it was Herpes. Supporting the findings, Chlamydia was also the most commonly diagnosed STD in the United Kingdom in 2013.
The statistics are at odds when compared to global averages, which showed by a significant margin the most commonly searched-for infection worldwide was HIV/AIDS.
Even more telling was the distribution of popular search terms in different European countries. Although British internet users clearly expressed concern about Chlamydia, they fell way behind their European partners, as continent-wide analysis shows Finland and Norway searched for the infection more than any other.
The emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of Gonorrhoea in Asia which is slowly infiltrating Europe appears to be reflected by the countries which most Googled Gonorrhoea-related terms both being eastern neighbours – Russia and Belarus.
The study also revealed Germany and Britain as the most interested in Viagra, while premature ejaculation and searches for cures were popular in Italy and Spain.
Looking more locally still, the distribution of search terms in particular British towns and cities suggests a story that may be borne out with study of NHS statistics. Although London came out near top for all five major STDs investigated, for searches on Syphilis, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhoea, the northern-English city Newcastle came at or near the top every time.
Whether Newcastle is suffering an epidemic of infections, or if the enthusiastic research of students enrolled at Newcastle University’s Sex, Sexuality, and Desire course is artificially inflating figures, remains unclear.
Info-graphics courtesy of onlinedoctor.superdrug.com