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STIQ Day - Why You Should Question Your Sexual Health
This entry was posted on 14/01/2014.
Today is STIQ Day, a day to raise awareness of sexually transmitted infections and to encourage everyone to question their sexual health.
Although free sexual health tests are available to everybody on the NHS many feel too embarrassed to get checked, or simply think that they cannot have transmitted an infection since they’ve been with the same partner for many years.
Let’s tackle the embarrassment factor first. Yes, it may seem daunting to wander into an STI clinic, but it’s becoming more and more the norm for people to go and get checked regularly, regardless of whether or not they think they’ve contracted something. If you still don’t like the thought of it, home test kits are available to check for certain diseases, such as chlamydia. We’ve got a female chlamydia test which is really simple to use and can give results within just 10 minutes.
Even if you have been with your current partner for many years, if you have not had a sexual health test for a long time there could be a risk that you have an STI, and that your partner does too. Many STIs can remain symptomless with complications only developing years down the line, so it’s important not to become complacent and get checked out regularly. Chlamydia and gonorrhoea can lead to infertility in women, syphilis can lead to organ failure and hepatitis, which has a number of different strains, can be life-threatening in extreme cases. Not to mention genital herpes which cannot be cured and HIV which, if left untreated, leads to AIDS.
Although many people associate STIs with young people, there is a rapidly increasing number of over-50s who are diagnosed with STIs in the UK. The main reason for this is that once women have gone through the menopause they, and their sexual partners, don’t have the risk of pregnancy to think about and are less likely to use a condom. No matter what age you are, STIs are still always a risk so it’s really important to use condoms to protect yourself if you have a new sexual partner.