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Safe Sex Advice for the Festive Season

December 21, 2007 3:32 PM

The festive period is a time to celebrate with family, friends and relatives, but the partying can also mean drinking more than usual.
For some revellers this can lead to uncharacteristic behaviour because of the alcohol lowering their inhibitions and leading to risky sex and possibly a sexually transmitted infection.
People who have sex without a condom run the risk of being exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STIs) or HIV, and they would be advised to have themselves checked out as often there are no obvious signs or symptoms.
Nicky Coia, Principal Health Improvement Officer with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said:
“STIs 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 what should be a time of celebration more than a sexually transmitted infection and there is so much you can do to protect yourself.
“It’s better to be safe than sorry, so anyone who is sexually active should take condoms with them, even if they don’t think they will be having sex.” 
Free condoms are available from a number of venues in Greater Glasgow through the C-Card scheme, which also offers free confidential advice and information.
 In Renfrewshire and Inverclyde there are similar services available from Sandyford Inverclyde and a variety of local sexual health clinic.
Pharmacies and the various Sandyford Hubs can also offer emergency protection, which must be taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex.
Condoms and lubricant are also available free of charge on the commercial gay scene and safer sex promotions will be carried out by Gay Men’s Health from December 20 onwards.
Gay Men’s Health is the charity that NHS GGC have contracted with to provide sexual health improvement services to gay and bisexual men. 
As part of that work, they target the bars, clubs and saunas on the commercial gay scene and make sure there is a supply of free condoms and lubricant.
In the Christmas period, in addition to the regular supply, volunteers will carry out condom ‘zaps’ where they will go into the bars and clubs with santa sacks and hand out ‘presents’ to customers i.e. condom packs. 
Anyone who has recently suffered rape or sexual assault can contact Scotland’s first dedicated round-the-clock support, Archway Glasgow, within seven days of the attack. 
Opened this month at the Sandyford in Glasgow, the new service, after an initial clinical assessment, offers -
  • Forensic examinations
  • Forensic sample storage – to offer clients time to decide whether or not to involve the police
  • STI follow-up testing
  • Support and advocacy for up to 12 weeks
  • Counselling
  • Onward referral to other agencies.
Notes to Editors:
 
Dr Rak Nandwani, Consultant Physician (GUM) at the Sandyford will be available for interview today by contacting NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 305 0305.
One unit is the equivalent of half a pint of beer or lager or a small glass of wine.
Drinkline, 0800 917 8282, is a free and confidential telephone helpline for people who need help or support with their own or someone else’s drinking, and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information on alcohol visit www.infoscotland.com/alcohol.
For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.
Archway Glasgow can be contacted on 0141 211 8175 or online at www.archwayglasgow.com.
For more information about the C-Card scheme log onto the Sandyford website on www.sandyford.org.
Ends
For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.
 

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