Sexual infection awareness month

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Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) recently supported Sexually Transmitted Infection Awareness Month by helping to spread the word about sexually transmitted infections.

Looking after your own and your partner’s sexual health is really important. The HSCP is encouraging people to take action to prevent, test for, and treat sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Safer sex means taking care of yourself and your partner. It also means you can worry less about catching or passing on a sexually transmitted infection.

Laura Stephenson, senior sexual health improvement officer for the HSCP, said: “If you think you might have an STI, visit one of our services and get a simple STI test.

“Staff will make you feel welcome, will be non-judgemental and pleased to see you are taking responsibility for your sexual wellbeing.

“If left untreated STIs can cause serious health problems for you and others. Confidential testing and treatment is available in Argyll and Bute.”

Laura explained that chlamydia is the most common STI in the UK, but many people do not experience symptoms, so they are unaware they are infected until much later on.

Young people are at increased risk of contracting an STI, so it’s important they know how to protect themselves and use a condom. The website www.ab-wish.org has lots of information for young people and safer sex.

Young people and adults in Argyll and Bute can get free condoms in several different ways: from school nurses; at GP surgeries, view the map for free condoms; at Youth Health Drop Ins; if you ask at reception at sexual health clinics; using your CCard (download the free NHS Highland CCard app); by post (Waverley Care) www.waverleycare.org/condoms.

The Argyll and Bute Waverley Care service also provides: Support services for people living with HIV; HIV prevention and information services; HIV testing service, the test is free and Waverley Care will do their best to meet you at a time and place that’s convenient for you; Free condoms and lube by post scheme; Sexual health information and advice; Training and workshops for professionals, young people and groups; LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) support and information.