This week (12 to 18 September 2016) is Sexual Health Testing week.  The week aims to encourage more people to get tested across the UK and to prevent the spread of STIs.  The week also aims to let people know about the range of testing options available to them.

Last year there were more than 435,000 STIs diagnosed in England.  Which is nearly 1% of the total population of all ages, that is a high number of positive diagnoses.  It is really important to get tested so that treatment can start early.  The earlier your treatment starts, the more likely you are to avoid any long term damage to your health.

As part of sexual health testing week, the FPA ran a survey of 2000 people asking about their attitudes to sex and STIs.  Here are the key findings:

  • 68% of people said they had never been tested for an STI
  • Over half did not know you could catch an STI from oral sex (you can catch chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes and it is possible for HIV and Hepatitis to be spread if you have a cut or blood injury)
  • 71% did not use a barrier protection (e.g. condom) the last time they had sex
  • 1 in 10 people think that women should not carry condoms
  • 1 in 10 16 to 24 year olds said by the time they did sex education in school they were already having sex

The survey shows that people still have a reluctance to talk about using condoms, with many getting carried away in the moment or not liking how they feel.  Condoms are one of the more reliable ways to prevent the spread of STIs.  Condoms do not offer 100% protection.

Having a regular and full STI test should be part of your normal self-care routine like having an eye test.  Better2Know can help you to get tested quickly and confidentially.  You can choose to get tested in one of our nationwide network of clinics, a nurse can Come2You or you can order a home sample collection kit.  Whatever you choose it always Better2Know.

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