With temperatures soaring and the summer holidays around the corner, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Contraception and Sexual Health Service is encouraging people to prevent unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by practicing safe sex this summer.
Young people are being reminded of the importance of looking after their health this summer, which includes protecting themselves from UV rays, keeping an eye on alcohol intake and practising safe sex. In 2017 there were over 422,000 new STI diagnoses in England, with under 25s experiencing the highest rates of common STIs such as Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis. In 2014, 1 in 10 young people who took a Chlamydia test in Lancashire tested positive for the infection. Chlamydia often has no signs or symptoms so it is really important that people who have put themselves at risk get tested.
Amy Nolan, Contraception and Sexual Health Service Manager at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“The weather has been great these last few weeks and we see a high volume of under 25s visiting holiday destinations and festivals during the summer period. To coincide with this, we’re encouraging people to have fun, stay safe and take precautions so you don’t bring back any unwanted souvenirs. At this time of year we see an increase of under 25s visiting our clinics for screenings, so it’s all the more important to get the message across to people that good condom use is an effective way of helping to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
“It is also a great opportunity to encourage people to talk about contraception and good sexual health. Not all infections have symptoms and it is essential people are encouraged to get tested to get treated. Our aim is to ensure young people are not afraid to talk about and take charge of their own sexual health. In partnership with Brook we provide a range of confidential services, offering testing and treatment of STIs, contraception and non-judgmental advice and support when needed the most.”
The Contraception and Sexual Health Team (CaSH) at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with Brook, provides sexual health services to young people under 25 across Lancashire and to people off all ages within Blackburn with Darwen.
To contact your local Contraception and Sexual Health Team, book an appointment or find out about our ‘drop ins’ please call 01772 401140, the service is free and accessible to everyone. There are clinics in various locations and different session times across Lancashire. To find out more about services in your area, please visit www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/cash-lancashire.
Condoms are available for free from any of our clinics and you do not need to book an appointment. Young people can also access free condoms from any ‘Wrapped’ condom distribution site. Under 25s can also order free Chlamydia self-testing kits online by visiting www.best2know.co.uk.