As the festive season rolls around, it’s not just the cold weather we need to shield ourselves from. With parties in full swing and spirits high, it’s equally crucial to practice safe sex to prevent the transmission of STIs, which see a notable rise starting December 1st.

Understanding the Risks:

The combination of increased social events and alcohol consumption during the festive period can lead to a lapse in judgment regarding sexual health. This season is notorious for a spike in STIs, including silent infections like HPV and Chlamydia, which carry serious long-term consequences like infertility and increased cancer risks.

Preventative Measures:

Get Checked: Before diving into the festive fun, consider getting an STI screening. It’s a proactive step towards responsible sexual health.

Stay Rational: Alcohol can impair judgment. Remember, safe sex practices are just as important at the Christmas party as they are any other time.

Recognise symptoms: Be alert to signs like unusual discharge, pain, itching, or bleeding related to sexual activity. Early detection is key, even for asymptomatic infections.

Consider a Pregnancy Test: Some STIs or treatments can affect menstrual cycles. If you notice changes, a pregnancy test can help address any immediate concerns.

Beyond STIs:

The holiday season, unfortunately, also sees a rise in sexual crimes, hospital admissions, and suicides, often correlated with increased alcohol consumption.

Staying Safe:

Monitor Your Intake: Keep track of how much you drink.
Carry Protection: Always be prepared to practice safe sex.
Stay in Groups: There’s safety in numbers.
Plan Your Journey Home: Ensure you have a safe way to return from festivities.

The true spirit of Christmas lies in looking out for each other. By taking these precautions, you can ensure your holiday celebrations are safe, enjoyable, and free from the risks associated with irresponsible drinking and unprotected sex.

Remember: Don’t let an STI be the unwanted gift of the season. Stay safe, stay informed, and look after one another.