General physical and mental status, as well as emotional and social well-being, are all fundamental elements that affect the sexual health of an individual. In 2019, a survey on the number of sexual partners that Italians have overall in their life, showed a tendency for men to have more sexual partners than women. Sexual behaviors, like the one just mentioned, and sexuality are two core elements when defining sexual health as they have a direct impact on the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and diseases (STDs).
STIs and STDs in Italy
Sexually transmitted infections and diseases are a wide group of infectious diseases which can cause strong symptoms, chronic infections, and long-term complications. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are among the most common diseases caused by bacteria, while HIV, herpes, and HPV by viruses. In 2020, the number of people affected by a viral STI in Italy was higher than the number of those affected by a bacterial STI. However, looking at the figures on HIV, among the most relevant viral STDs, the total number of new HIV diagnoses decreased in the last decade, from roughly four thousand cases in 2010 to 1.3 thousand in 2020. The type of contraceptive chosen, and how it is used, is vital to prevent the transmission of STIs. In 2020, among individuals with sexually transmitted infections, more than 2.5 thousand were using condoms occasionally during the six months prior to diagnosis.
Erectile dysfunction drugs
Erectile dysfunction results from organic and/or psychological factors and prevents men to have, total or partial, intercourse. In Italy, the use of erectile dysfunction drugs has increased consistently since 2015, when 3.3 daily defined doses (DDD) per 1,000 inhabitants were consumed, reaching 6.2 DDD per 1,000 inhabitants in 2021. This growth corresponded to a decrease in prices, which shifted from 8.11 euros per dose in 2015 to 5.19 in 2021.
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