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11 February 2019

UH Bristol and Unity Sexual Health Centre launch sexual health campaign

From Monday 11 February to Sunday 17 February, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and colleagues at Unity Sexual Health Centre are campaigning to raise awareness of the importance of practising safe sex for people of all ages, backgrounds and sexualities.

Wearing protection and practising safer sex is an easy and effective way to guard against the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The campaign is focusing on this and encouraging people to wrap up this winter in more ways than one!

In 2017 the rate of new STI diagnoses in Bristol was 1,011 per 100,000 people, higher than the national average of 794 per 100,000 people*. This, combined with the fact that Bristol has a relatively young and ethnically diverse population as well as an active lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) scene, means that sexual health is a priority for healthcare providers throughout Bristol.

The diagnosis rate is not just reflective of increased infection in the area; it is also in part due to improved testing in the local area. Unity Sexual Health Centre offers a free and confidential service for residents of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. The service is open to people of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, and sexualities and it allows people to ask questions and raise concerns about their sexual health with trained medical professionals.

Speaking about the campaign, Megan Crofts, consultant in genitourinary medicine, at Unity Sexual Health Centre said:

"Practising safe sex is so important to not only the medical health of individuals and the area, but to a person's mental and emotional wellbeing. Through this campaign, we're hoping to raise awareness both of the importance of practising safer sex and the service that Unity offers to the people of Bristol and the local area. Talking about sexual health can often be a sensitive and difficult topic, but at Unity, the people of Bristol have a free and confidential resource to help ensure they can have an active and healthy sex life."

For more information on the services available, visit the Unity website.

*Data taken from Health and Wellbeing in Bristol 2018, published by Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.