Summer. What’s not to love? No doubt the party holiday you’ve been waiting for all year is just around the corner. It’s the season to forget about all our worries, but that often means forgetting about important things, too. Condoms. Drinking responsibly. It’s all part of the fun and games. Packing safe sex essentials in your toiletry bag is the answer to avoiding some of the biggest problems a fun-filled summer clubbing holiday can bring.
Holiday sex is not just the domain of the lads on tours. Girls on summer holidays are looking for summer loving and summer romance. Holiday sex is a little different to home sex, and there are a couple of things you can do to help the memories stay golden.
New research from a study published by the World Health Organisation, shows that 1 in 25 people around the world have an STI. That is 4% of the population. The study looks only at data for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Trichomonas and Syphilis. So the actual figure is likely to be higher.
If you are looking forward to your summer trip with the boys, whether this is an annual event, or your first time, it is important to know what to do to keep yourself safe when you have sex with new people. You know to pack condoms with the kite mark, but what else can you do to help prevent you getting an STI?
There are many different types of HIV test. Some need blood samples, others are done on saliva. The best test depends on your situation. However one of the most important things to consider is the incubation or window period. This is how long it has been since the incident of concern and the date of your test. With HIV testing, accurate testing is available from just 10 days, but you must choose the right HIV screening test.
Summer festivals are a great time. Whether you are watching Kylie on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury, The Manics at Kendal Calling or learning a new folk at the Cambridge Folk festival, the UKs festival scene means there is something for everyone. Relaxing, drinking, meeting new people and learning new skills can also lead to new sexual partners. The thrill of festival sex in the outdoors, tent, caravan or yurt is wonderful. We are here to help you do it safely.
Taking control of your sexual health means getting a regular STI test. Your clinician knows a lot more about STIs and how to collect your samples. There are other questions that you can ask, to help you prevent getting an STI in the future, or taking (even) more pleasure from your sex life.
STI home testing is becoming increasingly popular. Despite a society where our lives are posted all over social media where we thrive on sharing, likes and followers. The sudden shyness or refusal to talk about sexual health and sexually transmitted infections is surprising. Sex is easily accessible now, more than it was in the past. Stigma and discrimination still exist. With the idea that people who have STIs are dirty. Having a sexually transmitted infection should not be the decider on one’s perception of other people’s personal hygiene levels.
Getting tested is the hard part done. No more wondering if that itch, rash, or pain when you urinate will go away. No more worrying about going to see your doctor, or sitting in the waiting room feeling like everyone knows why you’re there (FYI: they don’t at Better2Know clinics). You now know your STI status and can now receive treatment to clear or manage the infection. The next step is to notify sexual partners (past and present) of your status. Please ask them to book an STI testing appointment. This may seem daunting, but their health is at risk. It is not fair on them not to tell them. Protecting your partner, it is a conversation you will need to have.
Whether you are exhibiting concerning symptoms, or are simply concerned about your sexual health, then you should book an STI test. If this is your first time getting tested, there is nothing to be afraid of. You should feel confident that you are taking control of your sexual health. Everyone’s experience with sexually transmitted infections differ. Some might suffer from painful or worrying symptoms such as blisters, unusual discharge or pain during sex, whilst others may experience no signs of an STI at all.