February 8th to 12th is Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week and Algoma Public Health wants to remind you to about the importance of healthy sexuality.
“It is important to remember that sexuality is more than just sex.” said Carolyn Kargiannakis, a public health nurse at Algoma Public Health. “It is important to learn about the social, emotional, and physical aspects of sexuality and relationships.”
When we talk openly about sexual health, a culture will be created where people can educate themselves about protection, knowing risks, getting tested, and learning how to talk about sexuality with partners and health care providers.
Sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) continue to be a significant public health concern. STI’s including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis are on the rise across Canada.
Since 2010, gonorrhea has increased by 270% and chlamydia by 17% in the district of Algoma. Algoma Public Health has also seen an increase in syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection that was once rarely seen in our district or Canada.
“Many STI’s have few or no noticeable symptoms, so individuals may not be aware they are infected,” said Kargiannakis. “These infections can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. Regular testing by a healthcare professional for STI’s, including HIV is important for anyone who is sexually active.”
There is nothing romantic about unsafe sex. Whomever you like this Valentine’s Day, love safer sex. Know your risks, use condoms and get tested.
Contact your health care provider or the Sexual Health program at Algoma Public Health for free testing at 705-541-7100 or toll free at 1-800-726-0398. Learn more about protecting yourself from STIs.