Young people in Wolverhampton are being urged to back a campaign to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by getting more under 25s to use condoms.

It comes after a survey carried out by Public Health England and YouGov revealed almost half of 16 to 24 year olds have never used a condom with a new partner.

The new campaign, Protect Against STIs, aims to raise awareness of the serious consequences of STIs, which can cause infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, swollen or painful testicles and even meningitis.

In Wolverhampton 50% of diagnoses of STIs in 2016 were in young people aged 15 to 24 years old.  There were also 971 new chlamydia diagnoses in that time, of which 565 were among young people. Data shows that young people are also more likely to become reinfected with STIs.

Dr Radhika McCathie, Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV Medicine at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Embrace Wolverhampton Sexual Health Service, said: "The only way to protect against sexually transmitted infections is by using a condom.

"Whilst many STIs don't have any symptoms, contracting them can have serious health consequences if left untreated and even lead to infertility.

"It is important that young people have the confidence to discuss and practice safer sex."

All young people, including those under 16, have a right to private and confidential advice about their sexual health and relationships.

Embrace, Wolverhampton's Sexual Health Service, can offer advice and information about sexual health, test for and treat sexually transmitted infections including HIV, and provide condoms, contraception and emergency contraception. All services are free, confidential and non judgmental and available to people of all ages, genders and orientations. Young people can also order free chlamydia self test postal kits by visiting Type=links;Linkid=9984;Title=Embrace Wolverhampton;Target=_blank;.

In addition there are a number of services available at local clinics including a walk in service at the Fowler Centre at New Cross Hospital, while booked appointments are available at West Park Hospital, Phoenix Health Centre, Low Hill Medical Centre and Bilston Health Centre. 

There are also a number of clinics specifically for young people. These include a clinic for City of Wolverhampton College students at Wellington Road Campus on Tuesdays from 11.30am to 2pm, a clinic for University of Wolverhampton students at the Student Union on Wulfruna Street on Mondays from 1.30pm to 4pm, and a clinic open to all young people up to the age of 21 at The Way Youth Zone, School Street, on Mondays from 4.30pm to 7pm.

Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "It is important that people to practice safe sex to protect not only themselves, but also their partner."

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 to Type=links;Linkid=9984;Title=Embrace Wolverhampton;Target=_blank;.

  • relased: Thursday 4 January, 2018