Public Health England has launched a national sexual health campaign called ‘Protect against STIs’ to raise awareness of the serious health risks associated with Sexually Transmitted Infections and to prevent their spread by encouraging the use of condoms.
The latest stats show that young people are at a higher risk of getting an STI, with 59% of the people diagnosed with chlamydia and gonorrhoea in 2016 falling into the 16 – 24 age range.
Many STIs are symptomless and, if left untreated, can cause serious health issues including pelvic inflammatory disease, swollen or painful testicles, arthritis, and can even affect our ability to have children later on.
Gonorrhoea, one of the most common STIs among this group, is becoming harder to treat too due to antibiotic resistance, and in some cases, may not be treatable at all. Getting tested regularly (once a year or with each new partner) can help to diagnose an infection early, making it easier to treat and less likely that it will be passed on to others. Find out about free and confidential STI testing in Greenwich.
Anyone can get an STI, whether they have just one sexual partner or several. But consistently using a condom can reduce the risk of infection from STIs and help protect ourselves and each other from infection. Greenwich Sexual Health (GSH) offers a free condom distribution service for young people in the borough. Find out how and where to get yours.
To hear about what it’s like to have an STI first-hand from young people who have been affected and to find out more about symptoms, treatment and how to protect yourself, visit https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/protect-against-stis-use-a-condom/home.
For more information about looking after your sexual health and wellbeing, please visit Live Well Greenwich.