Kit and Liam have some more useful information on STIs and have written a bit about LGBTQ+ Sexual Health and services avaiable, please have a read:
We hope you are enjoying SHAG week so far! 🌟Today we are focusing on Chlamydia, Thrush, LGBTQ+ sexual health and C-Cards.
Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs in the UK, with 202,546 cases in 2016 in England.
Chlamydia is more common in women, and the contrary is true for Gonorrhoea.
Chlamydia is a leading cause of death in koalas (along with deforestation so remember to recycle!!)
The initial symptoms of chlamydia often go unnoticed, so health professionals recommend being proactive and having regular STI checks.
Chlamydia is very treatable and can be cured by a short course of antibiotics. The NHS also offer free Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea tests, which can be ordered online at the following link:
https://www.cddft.nhs.uk/our-services/division-of-women,-children-and-sexual-health/sexual-health-services/free-online-testing.aspx. These tests can be delivered to your door and are completely confidential.
Welfare also supply free Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea tests, which involve just a quick wee in a cup! Don’t forget, we have free coffee, tea and hot chocolate (if you don’t quite need the loo when you come down!).
Thrush can affect both men and women, but it is far more common in women.
3/4 women will experience thrush at some point in their lives.
Thrush is not strictly an STI, but can come on after sex.
There are various types of thrush including vaginal thrush and oral thrush.
Thrush occurs when the fungus, candida albicans, which usually lives in harmony with other bacterias in the warm, moist areas of the body such as the genital area and mouth, becomes overgrown and induces thrush symptoms.
Whilst thrush can usually be treated with over-the-counter medicines, sometimes a prescription from the GP is necessary, particularly if this is your first experience of it. Here are the NHS’s guides to thrush in women, men and oral thrush - what the common symptoms are, how to treat it and when to see a doctor.
LGBTQ+ SEXUAL HEALTH
Research has shown that LGBTQ+ individuals face health disparities linked to societal stigma and discrimination which can have negative affects on both their physical and mental health.
The NHS recommends that EVERYONE who is sexually active, but particularly gay and bisexual men should have a sexual health check up at least every six months. This is important as with some STIs there are no symptoms.
Gay men are at higher risk of HIV and other STDs, this is especially true amongst ethnic minorities in the UK.
Lesbian and bisexual women are susceptible STIs such as herpes, genital warts and chlamydia.
Lesbian women are less likely to get preventative services for cancer.
All the information that has been previously sent around about sexual health is just as applicable to LGBT individuals as it is to others. But for some more specific resources for members of the LGBT community, this NHS website is a good place to start:
This is a really useful source with various health fact sheets, information and further links to supporting organisations.
For more advice, support and information the LGBT Foundation can be a really useful resource as well, it also has a helpline and email support service: http://lgbt.foundation/sexualhealth.
Our local sexual health clinic is St. Margaret’s Health Centre in Crossgate, but here is a link to the various centres around County Durham that can help you decide which service is the best place for you, if you need it. https://www.cddft.nhs.uk/our-services/division-of-women,-children-and-sexual-health/sexual-health-services/which-clinic-is-right-for-me.aspx.
Today is World AIDs Day and we will be having a film night in the welfare room watching 'Philadelphia' so please join us! xx