Get tested for Valentine’s Day, says sexual health service

Virgin Care’s sexual health services are urging locals of all ages to stay safe and get tested for sexually transmitted infections for Valentine’s Day.

As people plan romantic evenings out or quiet nights in it’s inevitable that some will have unplanned and unprotected sex. This increases the risk of unwanted pregnancy and catching sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV.

Virgin Care provides sexual health services in Oldham, Bury, Rochdale, Teesside and North and North East Lincolnshire, and offers locals of all ages advice and guidance on sexual health issues and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, as well as information on emergency contraception and how to get it.

The Sexual Health Hub (www.thesexualhealthhub.co.uk) allows users to check out symptoms, read more about sexually transmitted infections, and book an appointment 24 hours a day to get tested at a local clinic.

Last year, more than 325 people accessed postal testing kits via the Hub while almost 10% of all service appointments were made online, but services expect numbers to be higher this year.

Users of the Hub can also find contact details for their nearest clinic with which they can book an appointment over the phone.

Kate Horn, Virgin Care’s National Lead for Sexual Health, said: “Around Valentine’s Day we know that people will have increased sexual activity. For this reason it’s so important that people get tested for sexually transmitted infections. They can do this at our services by calling or using the sexual health hub to book an appointment, attend a walk-in session and request a postal testing kit.

“People of all ages are at risk of catching and spreading sexually transmitted infections so everybody should be aware of the dangers and take precautions. Carry a condom with you so you can’t be caught unprepared. If you do have unprotected sex over the holidays, make sure you get a check-up through your local sexual health service.”

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