It's Valentines Day: remember to protect yourself

February 14, 2020

Image Courtesy of Raise Vegan

 

It’s Valentine’s Day, you have a date lined up, and you’re open to ‘seeing where it goes’. You go home with your date and decide to be a bit reckless; your intoxicated self is much more willing to take the risk of unprotected sex than when you’re sober. The next day you continue your normal routine, unaware that you could have contracted an STD, and that your next partner might contract it from you too. Half of new sexually transmitted infections are in people under 25 - our age category. This is why it is important to talk about STD's and sexual health.
 
 STD’s are on the increase. According to the Public Health England, in 2018, there were 447,694 new diagnoses of STD's, a 5% increase on the 422,147 in 2017. Gonorrhoea increased by 26% to 56,259 cases, the largest number since 1978 and syphilis increased by 5% to 7,541 cases. Cases of gonorrhoea have shot up by 249% and syphilis up by 165% in the last ten years. These statistics are continuing to rise in 2020. These increases have been attributed to cuts in government spending on sexual health in 2014 and behavioural changes such as condom-less sex with new, or casual partners. 
 
So, this Valentine’s Day, make sure you’re prepared. Take a trip to the university’s nursing services for free condoms, and if you haven’t been tested recently, make sure to get up to date. You’ll get more respect than judgement for looking after your body. Chlamydia screenings are available via a postal kit and can be organised through the University Medical Centre. For a more thorough sexual health check, visit the Mercury Clinic or the Gate Clinic in Canterbury.
 
With this in mind we hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day, and stay safe! 

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First published in 1965, InQuire is the University of Kent student newspaper.

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