AHEAD of Swindon Sexual Health Week this month, a new website has been unveiled to tackle the avoidable spread of diseases in the town.
Love Life!, created by the Great Western Hospital, is now live and offers advice on all aspects of sexual health, from clinic opening hours to specific information about protection and symptoms.
The trust, which manages all sexual health services across the town, hopes the new site will make it easy for Swindonians to find out about the wide range of confidential services available, as it prepares to launch its own awareness campaign, Swindon Sexual Health Week, between August 9 and 16.
Dr Guy Rooney, medical director at GWH and consultant in sexual health and HIV, said: “We have excellent services around Swindon offering testing, treatment and advice which are all free and confidential.
“With this fantastic new website, you can now find out about all of our clinics, services and opening times in one place.
“We are a friendly and professional team and can help with contraception, free condoms, emergency contraception, STI testing, pregnancy advice, HIV treatment and support and sex and relationship advice.”
As well as the website, a new dedicated telephone service has been set up which will allow people to make appointments and get hold of urgent advice quickly by calling 01793 604038.
Over the last 12 months more than 1,800 new diagnoses of STIs were recorded in Swindon, the most common being chlamydia with 835 cases in 2013.
The number of people in Swindon with gonorrhoea has nearly doubled since 2011, with 54 cases increasing to 103 over the two year period.
“Whatever your age or background, it’s just as important to look after your sexual health, as it is any other aspect of your health,” added Dr Rooney.
“We decided on the Love Life! name because we wanted to promote the fact that looking after your sexual health is a positive and healthy thing to do.”
Events taking place across the town between August 9 and 16, are aimed at getting people of all ages, backgrounds and orientation talking and thinking safe sex.
Members of the Sexual Health team from the Great Western Hospital will be spreading the word about sexual health at Swindon Pride on Saturday.
They will also be at the Brunel Centre on Friday, August 15, providing shoppers with information and advice as well as free condoms and chlamydia tests.
Brian Mattock, Swindon Council deputy leader and cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: “We are committed to further improving the sexual health of residents in the borough and the Swindon Sexual Health Week is another great opportunity to raise awareness of relevant issues and signpost people to help.”
For information on all the services available, visit the new website www.swindonsexualhealth.nhs.uk.