The Contraception and Sexual Health (CaSH) service for Under 25 year olds in Lancashire is calling on young people to get tested for unwanted Christmas presents after the festive period on National STI Day.
National STI Day takes place on 14 January, two weeks after the Christmas and New Year party season which is when many people have unprotected sex. With Valentine’s Day just a month away, Lancashire Care’s Contraception and Sexual Health (CaSH) service is encouraging young people to have a full check-up, including HIV and syphilis testing.
Amy Nolan from Lancashire Care’s Contraception and Sexual Health Service (CaSH) said:
“National STI Day is a great opportunity for young people in Lancashire who may have had unplanned or unsafe sex over the festive period to get tested. The Christmas and New Year party season can lead to unprotected sex which increases the risk of getting sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhoea and chlamydia, leading to possible complications in later life. Common STIs like chlamydia can take two weeks to be detectable so getting tested in mid-January is the right thing to do. The middle of January is also just a month before Valentine's Day so it's best to know you can celebrate knowing you’re free of infection.”
According to Public Health England, diagnoses of STIs remain high across England, particularly among young people. In 2016 there was a 12 percent increase in syphilis in England with 51 percent of new STI diagnosis in young adults aged 15-24. 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.
Lancashire Care’s CaSH service, in partnership with Brook, the young people’s charity, provides sexual health services in Lancashire for people aged up to 25. Health experts are at hand to provide comprehensive contraceptive services and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections including HIV in a single appointment.
To contact your local CaSH team, book an appointment or find out about ‘drop-ins,’ call 01772 401140. There are clinics in various locations and different session times across Lancashire. To find out more about services in your area, visit www.best2know.co.uk.