Donovanosis is a sexually transmitted infection, which causes flesh-eating ulcers to appear on the genitals.
The bacterial infection is usually only found in tropical countries but two cases were treated by Royal Bolton Hospital in 2017/18.
According to figures released under a Freedom of Information request, the hospital treated 5,258 STIs, of these two were donovanosis.
Guidance distributed by the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV says the infection has shown signs of dying out worldwide and is mainly found in Papua New Guinea, southern Africa, parts of India and Brazil. The authorities in Australia led an eradication programme which meant it has almost been eradicated there.
The STI figures for Bolton reveal people aged 20 to 29 are getting the most STIs but the over 60s are still coming in for treatment in some cases.
The most common STI in Bolton is Chlamydia with 1,926 cases being treated, next on the list is genital warts affecting 1,833 people.
Bolton STI Breakdown
Chlamydia - 1,926 cases
Donovanosis - 2 cases
Gonorrhoea - 483 cases
Genital herpes - 742 cases
Genital warts - 1,833 cases
Hepatitis B - 4 cases
Hepatitis C - 7 cases
HIV - 77 cases
Syphilis - 184 cases
Leading UK pharmacist Shamir Patel of online pharmacy chemist-4-u.com, who gathered the data on Bolton STIs through a Freedom of Information Request, says the stats illustrate a need for better education about sexual health.
He explains: “The Bolton figures show a real spike in STIs among people in their twenties, but it also shows how those in their 50s and 60s are also contracting infections.
“The bottom line is that, despite years of educational campaigns, many people are still woefully unaware about what the risks involve.
“We recently ran a survey of 1,000 Brits, which showed almost half of respondents thought they could catch things like chlamydia, gonorrhoea, genital warts, genital herpes and syphilis from kissing, sharing towels, cutlery, cups or toilet seats. That’s patently false.
“There were other worrying responses, too.
“Almost two thirds — 69 per cent — admitted they’d never, ever been tested for a STI, despite chlamydia being symptomless.
“Meanwhile 16 per cent of responses indicated Brits would by happy to have protected sex with partner, knowing that their partner had genital warts, crabs, syphilis, and gonorrhoea.
“It’s my view we need better education across the board, starting in schools.”
Pubic lice can be found under the arms, in leg and chest hairs, and on stomach and back. Beards and moustaches can also host the pesky mites. Occasionally, eyelashes and eyebrows have provided accommodation too.
Like other STIs, pubic lice are spread through sexual contact. Using condoms, however, won't protect you.
Shamir adds: “The rule should be always use a condom if you’re not in a long term relationship. You have to be safe, it’s not worth putting your long-term health at risk.”