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PHA stresses the importance of looking after sexual health

Creator:

Public Health Agency

Type: News
Region: Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland
Description:

This is sexual health week and the Public Health Agency (PHA) is stressing the importance of looking after sexual health by urging people who are sexually active to takes steps to protect themselves and their partner by being safer and using condoms.This year the PHA is highlighting the increase in diagnoses of gonorrhoea being seen in both heterosexuals and in men who have sex with men (MSM). The Sexually Transmitted Infection Surveillance in Northern Ireland 2013 report shows there were 451 new episodes of uncomplicated gonorrhoea diagnosed in Northern Ireland Genito Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinics in 2012, compared with 336 in 2011, an increase of 34%. The increase can be attributed to a combination of more sensitive testing, an increase in the number of people tested and increased unsafe sex activity.Gonorrhoea is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) and, untreated, can enter the bloodstream or spread to the joints. In women it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility. An infected pregnant woman may pass the infection to her baby during delivery. There is a growing worldwide problem of gonorrhoea becoming resistant to antibiotics.Diagnoses of chlamydia also remain at high levels, with 3,251 diagnoses made during 2013. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection and is asymptomatic in at least 50% of men and 70% of women. In women, untreated infection can cause chronic pelvic pain and lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy and infertility. An infected pregnant woman may also pass the infection to her baby during delivery. Complications in men include urethritis, epididymitis and Reiter's Syndrome.Dr Neil Irvine, Health Protection Consultant with the PHA, said: "During sexual health week, we want to remind sexually active people of the dangers of STIs, and how important it is to practice safer sex."STIs which are untreated can result in serious health issues such as infertility. It is important to protect yourself and to stop the spread of infection to others. Use condoms, limit the number of sexual partners you have, and get checked out if you have put yourself at risk."Details about local GUM clinics are available on the PHA's website at http://www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/genitourinary-medicine-gu...

Date:

17/09/2013

DOI:

10.14655/11971-596446

Rights: Public
Suggested citation:

Public Health Agency. (2013) PHA stresses the importance of looking after sexual health [Online]. Available from: http://publichealthwell.ie/node/596446 [Accessed: 18th July 2019].

  

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Contributor:

Public Health Agency
 
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