With the Christmas and New Year season now upon us, many people are arranging tests for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) with Better2Know.  It isn’t always a symptom that prompts people to have an STI test, there are many reasons:  To have the reassurance of a general sexual health check, seeking the “all clear” prior to starting a new relationship; or after learning that a former sexual partner has tested positive for an STI – sometimes from a relationship that ended years ago. An STI test can start the new year with peace of mind.

Undetected STIs such as Chlamydia affect several hundred thousand men and women in the UK and practising unprotected sex of any kind can increase this number even in the short holiday period. Practising safe sex by using condoms is highly advisable and can help to reduce the infection rate. Office parties and social events which take place at this time of year present fresh opportunities for engaging in sexual activities of all kinds with new partners. This of course will add to the spread of STIs and is a further reason why individuals are choosing to be tested now.

Herpes, often referred to as the “Kissing Disease”, is a highly infectious STI which can be passed on without sexual contact. Herpes infection may result in sores or blisters, burning, itching or other uncomfortable symptoms. The consequences of passing on infections such as Hepatitis, Syphilis or Gonorrhoea after sexual contact can be far more severe. If STIs remain undetected and untreated serious consequences can follow. Sound clinical advice for the party season is to take the safe sex route wherever possible, not to share sex toys that have been used by others, and to seek advice over any sexual health concerns. Testing for STIs is the only way to be sure whether a person has picked up an infection and is an important step in maintaining good sexual health over the festive period.

Click here to read more about choosing an STI test with Better2Know.

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