Coventry Integrated Sexual Health Service is supporting a Public Health England campaign to encourage young people under 24 to protect themselves against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) by using condoms. The sexual health service is run by our Trust.
Diagnoses of Sexually Transmitted Infections remain high across England (420,000 cases in 2016), particularly among young people and in 2016, the majority (51%) of new STI diagnosis were in young adults aged under 24. These infections are not without potential health risks, as leaving an STI untreated can cause serious health issues such as pelvic inflammatory disease, swollen or painful testicles, arthritis, infertility and even meningitis.
On 15 December 2017, Public Health England launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the risks of STIs with a particular focus on two of the most prevalent infections chlamydia and gonorrhoea. In 2016, 141,000 diagnoses of chlamydia and gonorrhoea were made with people aged under 24 and the campaign seeks to ultimately reduce the rates of these STIs through increased condom use.
Charlotte Hubbard, Head of Integrated Sexual Health Services at our Trust, said: “As many cases of STIs have no symptoms, including seven in 10 cases of chlamydia, they should be taken seriously.
“Due to the symptomless nature of the infections, and the potential risk of these going undiagnosed, there is a real need for young people to practice safe sex and reduce passing an infection on to a partner.
“We would encourage all young people to protect themselves by using a condom and if they are concerned about their sexual health in any way they can visit us for confidential information or testing at City of Coventry Health Centre or visit www.besavvy.org.uk/service-providers/c-card/locations for more information on C Card.”
Public Health England has set up an informative website which can be found at www.nhs.uk/protect-against-stis-use-a-condom.
For more information about the Integrated Sexual Health Service visit www.covwarkpt.nhs.uk and search ‘sexual health’ or call 0300 200 0027. Alternatively in Coventry visit www.besavvy.org.uk or in Warwickshire visit www.respectyourself.info/CCard.