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A warning to practice safe sex this Valentine’s Day has been issued to romantics across Cheshire so they can avoid receiving unwanted gifts.
East Cheshire NHS Trust is reminding those who may be swept away under romantic pretences of the dangers having unprotected sex could bring. These include contracting sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV, as well as unplanned pregnancies if adequate protection is not used.
The trust, which runs sexual health clinics in many parts of the county including Congleton, Crewe, Macclesfield, Sandbach, Wilmslow Alsager, Middlewich and Knutsford also highlighted the availability of local clinics to encourage people to get checked before any amorous encounters.
East Cheshire NHS Trust’s medical director Dr John Hunter said: “Lots of people will be out on dates or looking for love, so we urge everyone to take caution and enjoy themselves safely.
“While most STIs are treatable, they can be very unpleasant and will make an extremely unwanted Valentine’s memory for anyone who contracts one.
“As a result, we are urging people here in Cheshire to always remember to practice safe sex. This applies to people of all age groups and sexual orientations as infections, including HIV, are prevalent among all sections of the community. There is a wealth of information about practicing safe sex available online, including on the NHS Choices website.”
Dr Hunter added: “Anyone who has experienced any symptoms or has any concerns about their sexual health should visit their nearest clinic or our dedicated sexual health website – www.gosexualhealth.co.uk. There is local help available so to find your nearest clinic or get in touch with us for completely confidential, non-judgemental advice and support.”
A full list of clinics in Cheshire can be found at the gosexualhealth website www.gosexualhealth.co.uk.
The clinics also provide services around contraception, in addition to sexual health, and free Chlamydia testing postal kits can also be ordered from the gosexualhealth website. Click here to request your kit.
In addition to services commissioned by Cheshire East Council, East Cheshire NHS Trust also operates clinics in the Cheshire West and Chester Council footprint.