Brighton & Hove STI Testing Week starts today (October 11) to encourage residents to get tested for sexually transmitted infections quickly and easily – whether at home, a clinic or at a local venue.
The week of activities to tackle high STI rates in the area is led by local HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) in partnership with Brighton & Hove’s Sexual Health and Contraception Service (SHAC) and Brighton & Hove City Council’s public health team.
The Brighton & Hove area has some of the highest rates of STIs in the country, which is why the annual week – now in its seventh year – is so important.
The lockdowns resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic mean fewer people have been screening for common STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea than usual. This has resulted in a 32% fall in STI diagnoses in Brighton & Hove from 3,562 in 2019 to 2,418 in 2020.
But STIs are still circulating and it’s as important as ever to get tested and, if appropriate, access free treatment.
STIs are easily passed on through sexual contact and often symptomless. If left untreated, they can become more serious and even impact fertility. Regular testing is important as it minimises the chances of an infection being passed on and provides for early treatment.
Self-sampling kits to do at home can be ordered online from SHAC. Online tests involve you taking your own samples in the comfort of your own home and then posting them back to the lab.
Face-to-face testing for STIs including HIV is available from THT at its base at 61 Ship Street, BN1 1AE. Bookable appointments are available Monday-Friday between clinic 10am – 5pm.
If you have symptoms of an STI, the Morley Street walk in clinic is open daily.
The team from THT will also be out and about through the week, including drop ins at:
- Boiler Room Sauna – Tuesday, October 12, 12-2pm
- Brighton Sauna – Wednesday, October 13, 6-9pm
- Amsterdam Bar – Friday, October 15, 7-10pm
Rory Finn, Health Promotion Practitioner at THT in Brighton & Hove, said: “If everyone who is sexually active screens for STIs, we can reduces the number of onward infections. That’s why Brighton & Hove STI Testing Week is such an important date in the diary.
“We’re excited to get out and about across the city and surrounding area to deliver fast and free STI testing and answer questions. The service we deliver is always confidential and without judgement.”