HIV Prevention England's new It Starts With Me summer campaign is raising awareness of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), with people in Wolverhampton being reminded of the importance of looking after all aspects of their sexual wellbeing.

The Hot Summer campaign shares advice on how people can protect themselves and their partners from HIV and STIs, and support them to have good sexual health.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is reminding everyone having sex with new or casual partners to wear a condom and get tested regularly – whatever their age or sexual orientation. Testing is free and confidential, and people should get tested even if they are not showing any symptoms.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing, said: "Whether it's your body, your sexual health or your wellbeing, looking after them starts with you.

"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.

“STIs aren’t just an inconvenience, they can have a major impact on your health and that of sexual partners. 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. 

"The It Starts With Me campaign gives you the tools to stop the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, whether that's testing, treatment, condoms or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, so you can protect yourself and your partner."

For more information, please visit It Starts With Me.   

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 to Embrace

Meanwhile, the School Nursing Team will be out and about over the summer holidays to provide advice and information to young people who have any worries about their general health, wellbeing or sexual health.

They will be at WV Active Bilston-Bert Williams tomorrow (Tuesday 25 July) and Tuesdays 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 August, and at the Health Hub in the Mander Centre on Wednesday (26 July) and Wednesdays 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 August from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. Young people can also text the School Nursing Team in confidence on 07507 332631.