As Wiganers prepare to head off on their summer holidays, they are being urged to get checked out for sexually transmitted diseases BEFORE they travel.
Spectrum Community Health CIC, the body responsible for Wigan’s sexual health services, is asking holidaymakers to remember five tips to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
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Belinda Loftus, cluster manager of Spectrum Health Services, said: “Holidays often give us a great opportunity to meet new people, often in a friendly, casual or romantic way. To avoid STIs and to make sure you continue with a clean bill of sexual health, people should visit a Spectrum clinic for STI testing before going on holiday.
“We want to encourage people to visit a clinic for an STI test before they go away and then again when they return. If they have picked up an STI then we will be able to treat it before the symptoms become more severe.
“To protect against STIs and unwanted pregnancies it is essential to pack plenty of condoms bought in the UK. This avoids the risk of buying poor quality and potentially unsafe condoms from abroad.”
Dr Indhu Prabakar, clinical lead at Wigan and Leigh Integrated Sexual Health, said “Chlamydia is the most common STI amongst both men and women, particularly amongst sexually active teenagers and young adults.
“Using a condom is the best way to protect from STIs and if anyone is worried about possible symptoms they should visit their local Spectrum clinic.”
Spectrums top-tips for reducing STI risk are:
* Visit a clinic for an STI test before you go on holiday.
* Pack plenty of condoms. Be cautious of counterfeit brands.
* Always carry a condom in your pocket or bag.
* ALWAYS use a condom.
* Visit a clinic for an STI test when you return.
More information and sexual health tips can be found at spectrumhealth.org.uk/services/sexual-health/campaigns/sun-sand-and-no-stis/
To find out about clinics opening times, visit spectrumhealth.org.uk/services/sexual-health/find-clinic/
Spectrum clinics offer STI testing, information, support and if you are aged between 16 and 24 free condoms under the C-card scheme, to people in the Wigan and districts.