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MAKE SURE FLOWERS ARE ALL YOU GIVE YOUR PARTNER ON VALENTINE’S DAY!

February 13, 2006 3:18 PM

Valentine's Day is being marked by NHS Greater Glasgow with advice to stay safe. As the romantic mood takes over on the annual homage to love, experts in sexual health are reminding couples of the need to protect each other from sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy.

NHS Greater Glasgow's Consultant in Genitourinary Medicine, Doctor Andy Winter believes a little planning goes a long way: "I realise people may not be thinking about safer sex when they're booking a candlelit dinner or buying a card, but in the long run it'll do you more good.

"Here in Glasgow, infections like chlamydia, gonorrhoea and genital herpes are all on the rise – and these cases are virtually all preventable. Using a condom protects you and your partner from infections like this, not to mention the transmission of HIV. Nothing spoils the mood more than a sexually transmitted infection and there is so much you can do to protect yourself."

Free condoms are available at more than 50 venues across the NHS Greater Glasgow area, including health centres, clinics, pharmacies and many more venues throughout the community, through the C card scheme. Advice, information and testing is also available free and confidentially at NHS Greater Glasgow's Sandyford Initiative in the city centre.

says the need to take advantage of the easy availability of free condoms has never been more acute in Glasgow than now. "The latest figures on HIV in Scotland show that more than 400 new cases were diagnosed in this country last year. That's the highest number since testing began in 1985, and that says to me that we need to be more careful. Do yourself a big favour and pick up some free condoms". And Dr Winter

Sexual and reproductive health services, including HIV testing and free condoms, is also now available at Sandyford Southeast in Govanhill, the first in a planned series of Hub clinics across the city, where advice and information is available in a number of languages other than English.

For more information please see www.sandyford.org, call the Sandyford Initiative on 0141 211 8601 or call Sandyford Southeast on 0141 531 8349.

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