How many people have you indirectly had sex with? The answer will alarm you

Rob Waugh

Most of us are aware, at least roughly, of how many people we’ve had sex with – but what about all the people you’ve indirectly had sex with?

That means all the people who your partners had sex with before they met you – and their partners’ partners.

Lloyds Pharmacy has produced a calculator where you simply enter the number of partners you’ve had in each age group – and it calculates the number of ‘indirect’ sexual partners you’ve had.

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Be warned: the number can be very, very large, into the millions.

There’s a serious point, of course – it’s about highlighting the importance of testing for STIs.

Lloyds Pharmacy says, ‘We’ve calculated how many people your partners are likely to have slept with before you. Then we calculated your partners’ partners, and their partners’ partners, and so on – for just six degrees. This number illustrates how exposed you can be to STIs, and how important safe sex is.

‘But even when using condoms, you’re still at risk from STIs such as warts and herpes, and you may already be carrying a symptomless STI, so it’s safest to get tested after each new partner.’

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