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Relaxing over the summer? Look after your sexual health


Public Health Agency

Type: News
Region: Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

If you are planning to soak up the summer sun abroad or holiday at home, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is reminding those who are sexually active to be smart: Protect your sexual health, and that of your partner, by being safe and getting tested if you have put yourself at risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).The most recent figures for Northern Ireland (2010)* show that new STI diagnoses increased by 6%, compared to 2009. New HIV diagnoses rose by 20%, (to 79 new cases), and the number of people living with HIV infection, increased by 12% compared with 2009 (to 474 people). The diagnoses of the other main sexually transmitted infections also increased.Of the new HIV cases in 2010, for 1 in 3, the likely source was through sex between men and women, the majority of whom acquired their infection abroad.Dr Bernadette Cullen, Consultant in Public Health, PHA, said: "We want to remind sexually active people of the dangers of HIV and STIs, and the importance of safer sex practices, particularly when they are in holiday mood and perhaps in a more relaxed environment."Untreated STIs can result in serious health issues such as infertility. While it may be thought that young people and men who have sex with men (MSM) are particularly at risk, the safer sex message applies to everyone."We know people may be infected with HIV and STIs without having any symptoms, so it is important to protect yourself and to stop the spread of infection to others. Use condoms, limit the number of sexual partners, and get checked at your GP surgery or your local Genito Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinic, if you have put yourself at risk." For information or advice on STIs, or to discuss any sexual health issue, contact your local GUM clinic or your GP.Further information can also be obtained from the 'Health Protection' Directorate on the PHA website. You can also download the PHA booklet Don't gamble with your sexual health, from the 'Publications' section of this website, along with information on local GUM clinics. 





Rights: Public
Suggested citation:

Public Health Agency. (2012) Relaxing over the summer? Look after your sexual health [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 26th June 2019].


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