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Be sexually smart: get yourself tested! 14th January is STIQ Day

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 - Be sexually smart: get yourself tested! 14th January is STIQ Day
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The 14th January is no longer just another gray un-momentous day in the long month that marks the beginning of the New Year. This January 14th is STIQ Day.

STIQ Day aims to promote awareness of the serious issue of sexually transmitted infections (STIs – in case you’re wondering the ‘Q’ is there as a play on ‘IQ’ – the message is all about sexual intelligence).

STIQ Day encourages people to get tested and, if needed, treated for STIs.

Why the 14th of Jan? Well, it’s four weeks before Valentine’s Day. It’s just enough time to test for and treat most sexually transmitted diseases. For instance it can take two weeks for Chlamydia to be detectable but it’s easily treatable so if you time it right you could be clear by Valentine’s.

If you got lucky over the festive season and you didn’t take precautions you might find your ‘luck’ is about to run out! You don’t even have to wait until the 14th – make yourself an appointment to get tested so you can be sure you’re not spreading any bad luck around – no-one wants to be responsible for putting someone else’s sexual health in danger.

You’d have to be living in a box to have missed the onslaught of sexual health ads about at the moment. Britain’s sexual infection rate is going through the roof in every age group, race, gender and sexual orientation. It seems no-one is immune.

Recent reports have suggested that a new case of Chlamydia, which is a possible cause of infertility if left untreated, is diagnosed in the UK every 5 minutes.

Worryingly the trend looks set to continue. A recent report, by St Mary’ Hospital STI Clinic in Jan 2010, suggested that only 28% of women claimed always to have used a condom during sex as opposed to 53% of men – and whilst many claim to be using protection 20% who said they did, tested positive for an STI.

Your health, your fertility, even your life could be at stake if you leave sexually transmitted diseases undiagnosed and untreated. Worse still, you could unknowingly be infecting your partner(s) and putting them at risk. The only way to be sure is to always carry condoms and make sure you never have unprotected sex.

It’s not just horny teenagers either, infection rates with older women are especially high. New instances of herpes among females over 45 have risen by 74% over the past four years compared with the national average of 51% in both sexes*.

The increase in Chlamydia cases is also highest among women over 45 (13%, compared to 9% in 16-19 year old women).

Chlamydia is the most prevalent of the sexual transmitted infections with one in ten people under 25 infected. No age group is unaffected and yet Chlamydia is easily detected and easily treated. You can even do the test at home!

STIQ Day is supported by The STI Clinic, The Terrence Higgins Trust, Mates Condoms and Freedom Health. To find out more about STIs, including facts about infections, treatment and ways of being tested visit the STIQ website – www.stiq.co.uk. 

Remember January 14th STIQ Day! Get yourself tested – better safe than sorry.


Health and Fitness Editor
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