Burnley sexual health service Brook launches campaign to help combat the recent surge in STIs
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The Playing it Safe campaign, organised by sexual health and wellbeing charity Brook, aims to promote the regular use of condoms, as well as normalise STI testing.
The campaign has been launched as part of Sexual Health Week, an annual event organised by Brook, which runs until September 17th.
This year Brook is encouraging people aged 24 and under to access condoms and STI testing from their Burnely clinic in response to the sharp rise in STI diagnoses. Data released in June by the UKHSA showed STI diagnoses had risen by 24%, with cases of gonorrhoea and syphilis hitting record levels. People aged between 15 and 24 are the most likely to be diagnosed with STIs, but by providing them with free condoms and STI testing, Brook hopes to empower young people to take charge of their sexual health.
Brook’s clinic on Bank Parade offers free, confidential, non-judgemental support to anyone aged 24 and under. Services include condoms and contraception, STI testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, as well as general advice around sexual health and wellbeing.
Speaking about the campaign, Gemma Niebieszczanski, Head of Clinical Operations at Brook, said: “September is the perfect time to be thinking about your sexual health as we often see an increase in STI diagnoses after summer with people returning from their holidays.
“It also coincides with Freshers, with young people engaging in all the fun that comes with starting a new college or university. Young people are the group most likely to be diagnosed with STIs, and with gonorrhoea and syphilis on the rise we want to encourage young people to ‘play it safe’ this Sexual Health Week.
“One of the simplest ways to enjoy safer sex is by using condoms as they’re the only form of contraception that also protects against STIs. People should also think about getting tested if they’ve had unprotected sex or started seeing a new partner. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve had sex or how many sexual partners you’ve had, anyone can catch an STI. It’s also important to remember that many STIs don’t have symptoms either.
“If you’re in Burnley, aged 24 or under and sexually active, we’d really encourage you to come and visit our clinic. Our services are free, friendly and confidential, and we can support you with anything regarding your sexual health. People shouldn’t feel any shame about accessing their sexual health service, it just shows that you are being responsible and looking after your own wellbeing”
For more information on the support available to young people in Burnley, visit https://www.brook.org.uk/regions/brook-burnley/
Brook is a national charity supporting people with their sexual health and wellbeing. It offers a range of services to support our mission of helping people to live healthier lives.
Brook fights for everyone’s right to safe, confidential, accessible healthcare, no matter who they are. We challenge stigma, amplify voices and provide lifelong support so that meets the diverse needs of our communities.