Belfast Telegraph

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Love is…loving yourself – taking control of your own sexual health.

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This Valentine’s Day falls during Northern Ireland Sexual Health Week (10-17th Feb) and Confidante, the home STI test kit and leading sexual health charity FPA are asking what …’love is…’ to you and encouraging you to #TakeTheTest.

Dr Audrey Simpson from FPA says Valentine’s Day is about celebrating all that is great about sex and relationships and that Love is…Ageless: 

“People don’t lose their passion for life just because they are older. The way we enjoy sex might change as we get older, but it doesn’t just stop.”

The charity is keen to remind people, and particularly older people who aren’t usually the recipients of sexual health messages, that it is important to stay safe.

“Those from the baby boom generation who grew up when the contraceptive pill was introduced may have never or rarely used condoms and if they are coming out of a marriage or long-term relationship, they might find they have very little knowledge about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when they meet new partners. Post-menopausal women who don’t need to worry about pregnancy, and so don’t use contraception, are particularly vulnerable.” 

Confidante believes Love is…About Loving yourself first…

Dr Gary Smyth, Medical Director at Confidante says this Valentine’s Day, people need think about themselves and their own sexual health:

 “We are delighted to support FPA’s ‘Love is…’ campaign and we want people to love themselves by taking control of their own sexual health through taking a test. 

 STIs are on the rise and are easily spread, worryingly some don’t even have symptoms, so advice is to get tested either at home by using the Confidante kit or by visiting your local GUM clinic…It is always better to know!”

Confidante is the only home test kit to detect 10 common STIs, including gonorrhoea which is increasing in both heterosexuals and among men who have sex with men (MSN).

Dr Smyth says no one wants an STI this Valentine’s Day: 

“The best gift you can give yourself and your partner this Valentine’s Day is that of protection and prevention, be responsible, if you think you have an STI, get tested. STIs won’t just go away, some can cause serious health issues including infertility if left

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