S-T-I-Q Day highlights need for sex infections testing

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WhilE it may not be news that STIs (sexually-transmitted infacetions) are rampant, one of the supporters of S-T-I-Q Day has taken a new step to help stop the spread of STIs by introducing an Anonymous Notification Service for clients to notify past or current partners if they test positive for STIs.

The STI Clinic is launching the service to tie in with S-T-I-Q Day which returns on tomorrow, Friday, January 14th.

S-T-I-Q Day is an initiative to promote awareness of the serious issue of sexually transmitted infections, encouraging people to get tested and, if needed, treated for STIs.

S-T-I-Q Day is supported by the Terrence Higgins Trust, NAT (National AIDS Trust), Freedom Health, Mate’s Skyn and The STI Clinic.

The date for S-T-I-Q Day was chosen as it is two weeks after New Year’s Eve and a month before Valentine’s Day; since it takes 14 days for most infections to become detectable, this is the optimum time to test and treat someone, meaning people should have received the “all clear” before embarking on another romantic evening.

A range of recent statistics show why initiatives such as S-T-I-Q Day and the Anonymous Notifications are necessary:

Over a quarter of young people have had sex with a stranger they met in a bar

Nearly 50% of people in the UK dislike using condoms1

Around 50% of men and 70% of women with chlamydia have no symptoms

One in 10 15 to 24-year-olds diagnosed with an STI last year will become re-infected within a year

There were almost 12,000 more cases of STIs reported in 2009 than 2008

Robert Mackay, of The STI Clinic and the instigator of the Anonymous Notification Service, explained: “It takes a brave individual to phone a sexual partner and suggest an STI test and we know some patients test positive and never inform partners. While we cannot insist patients do the right thing, we can make it easier for them. We offer this service only to people who test positive for an STI through our clinic and we regulate it to avoid abuse. We accept anonymous notification isn’t ideal but it is better than keeping quiet.”

Deborah Jack, of NAT, comments: “S-T-I-Q Day is an important opportunity to bring much-needed attention to the often uncomfortable issue of STIs. The apathy among people in the UK towards getting testing for STIs is extremely worrying and NAT urges everyone to ensure they get tested if they feel they’ve put themselves at risk of an STI, including HIV.”

For more information about Anonymous Notification visit www.thesticlinic.com