More than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired every day worldwideWorld Health Organisation
STIQ Day is an awareness day to encourage better sexual health. It falls on the 14th January every year as many Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) take 14 days before it can be discovered on tests. Which is great timing for people to get tested after the crazy festive season.
An STI is an infection that can be contracted through sexual contact with another person who has the infection. Some STI’s can be cured with medication and some can not be cured. If you get an STI you may notice some symptoms including pain when going to the toilet, itching, burning, blisters, spots, lumps, and many more. However, most STI’s go untreated as the infected person doesn’t have any symptoms. This is why it is very important to get regular checks. If an STI goes untreated you are putting your own health at risk and anyone who you may have sexual contact with. Research has shown that women have reduced chances of getting pregnant.
There are many different STI’s, here are a few example: (for more information)
- Chlamydia is a bacterial infection and the most common STI in the UK.
- Gonorrhoea is caused by bacteria in sexual fluids.
- Genital Warts are growths or lumps around the sexual areas.
- Genital Herpes are small blisters in the sexual areas.
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that damages your immune system which can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
It is important to visit a sexual health clinic and get tested if you have symptoms, a sexual partner has symptoms or you are worried after having unprotected sex. Remember, not all STI’s have symptoms. At the clinic they will advise on what to do next and when you will receive your results. If you test positive, it is important to tell any sexual partners including previous ones if you were not tested after them as you do not know how long you have had it for. Often clinics can contact them for you (without name dropping you) if you do not feel comfortable to do so. If you test negative you can breathe, but be sure to practice safe sex and get tested when you need to.
Encouraging people to get regular sexual health checks is important, to be sure that we are not spreading anything and that we are safe. Practice safe sex!
Have a nice day!