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STI information

 

Having a Sexual Health Check Up Could Not Be Easier – So Get Tested

 

Getting yourself screened for sexually transmitted infections should be part of a normal, healthy lifestyle. That’s why a new sexual health screening campaign is being launched on Wednesday, 1 June.

 

The joint campaign between Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire councils will outline the importance of getting yourself checked, to help you and others stay healthy and safe. It is important to have a sexual health screen for all STIs, including HIV, at least annually, and also every time you change sexual partner.

 

According to Public Health England the rate of gonorrhoea infection in England has doubled in the last five years. Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is associated with risky sexual activity. In Bedford Borough there were 87 cases in 2014 (a rate of 54 per 100,000), while in Central Bedfordshire there were 57 (22 per 100,000); compared to 63 per 100,000 across England.

 

Some STIs have no symptoms so people can go for long periods of time without being diagnosed, which can increase the risk of infertility and increase the chance of passing the infection to others.

 

Cllr Maurice Jones, Executive Member for Health at Central Bedfordshire Council, said:

“First and foremost, we want people to try to protect themselves from STIs by practising safe sex, but we also want to promote sexual health screening as an important part of a normal, healthy lifestyle.”


Councillor Louise Jackson, Portfolio Holder for Public Health at Bedford Borough Council said: “We are encouraging people to value their sexual health. It’s important that sexually active people get tested routinely. It’s the sensible thing to do and should be as routine as visiting a dentist. It’s also worth noting that many STIs are easily treated.”

 

There are a range of sexual health services available across Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire which provide free, non-judgemental and confidential advice and information, and HIV testing.

 

For further information about STIs, testing and treatment, visit http://www.safesexinbeds.co.uk/ where you will also find a comprehensive timetable of local sexual health clinics.

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