A new campaign is encouraging people to beware of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – and to make sure they keep themselves and their partner safe.

It aims to raise awareness of STIs and to take precautions, with condoms being the best defence against STIs. Kits to test for STIs are free and can be ordered discretely online.

The number of people being diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections remains high; in 2022, there were 392,453 STIs diagnosed in England, up nearly a quarter on the year before, including significant increases in gonorrhoea and infectious syphilis diagnoses, the highest since 1948. In Wolverhampton there were 2,027 STIs diagnosed in 2022.

Embrace, Wolverhampton’s Sexual Health Service, offers advice and information about sexual health, tests for and treats sexually transmitted infections including HIV, and provides condoms, contraception and emergency contraception. All services are free, confidential and non judgmental and available to people of all ages, genders and orientations. 

To book an appointment or for more information about clinics and services, please call the Embrace Wolverhampton Sexual Health Service on 01902 444444 or log on Embrace

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing, said: "STIs aren't just an inconvenience, they have a major impact on your health and that of any sexual partners. Your sexual health or your wellbeing, looking after them starts with you.

“Condoms are the best defence, but if you didn’t use one the last time you had sex with a new or casual partner, get tested to detect any potential infections early and prevent passing them on to others. 

"Staying safe is easier than you think. You should use a condom and get free testing kits sent discreetly to your home by calling 01902 444444 or visiting Embrace."

Embrace’s Clinical Director and Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV, Dr Andrea Ng, added: “Whilst most sexually transmitted infections are treatable, they can be very unpleasant and can cause long term damage to your health if not treated early.  

“Whether you are entering into a new relationship, or are already in a relationship, it is important to not take unnecessary risks with your health. We urge everyone to take caution and enjoy themselves safely by practicing safe sex. Use a condom or order a free STI testing kit.”