How to get free STI tests Ireland – Debunking The Myths. ‘Debunking The Myths: The Science Behind Our Sexual Health’ is bringing STI Awareness Education to Ireland for 4th to 6th year secondary school students. As part of this programme of workshops we also talk about positive aspects of consent, anatomy, sexual assault treatment and...
How to get free STI tests Ireland – Debunking The Myths.
‘Debunking The Myths: The Science Behind Our Sexual Health’ is bringing STI Awareness Education to Ireland for 4th to 6th year secondary school students. As part of this programme of workshops we also talk about positive aspects of consent, anatomy, sexual assault treatment and contraception.
‘Debunking The Myths‘ was was featured in The Irish Sun on the 28th of August 2023. The article highlighted most popular questions submitted by the students and the advice given by our experts. 1,000 students submitted questions in our workshops, the most popular in the STI category were questions such as where they could get an STI test and at what age could they avail of STI services without a parent or guardian.
Doctor Zara Molphy Head of Research Programmes at RCSI Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Debunking The Myths co-lead noted that “While navigating these conversations can be difficult, cultural and societal attitudes towards sex and sexuality should not discourage anyone from disclosing their STI status. Letting a sexual partner know if there is risk of an STI is essential to the prevention, treatment and control of these infections.” The team of experts issued top tips for navigating these conversations, starting with honesty. They said: “If you receive a positive test, don’t panic. Consult with a healthcare provider as soon as possible. There are effective treatments available for several STIs. Be mindful if a partner discloses that they have an STI- You will probably have lots of questions in relation to your partner’s STI disclosure as it may pre-date or overlap with your relationship. When asking these questions, try to be mindful of the language you use, and avoid placing blame. Most importantly, get tested as soon as possible. Make this an opportunity- Low health literacy can often instil unnecessary fear in circumstances like these. Whether it’s you or your partner who have an STI – or both – use this opportunity to do some research on sexual health. Educating yourself on suitable contraceptive methods, vaccines, signs and symptoms of STIs and the benefits of regular STI check-ups is vital to keeping yourself and others safe when sexually active.”
Zara Molphy, said overcoming the stigma surrounding STIs means improving access to treatment and education. She said “Stigma, embarrassment, guilt, taboo and shame are words still too often associated with STIs. Overcoming STI stigma, much like COVID stigma, requires education, improving access to STI testing and treatment, and the promotion of inclusive conversations about sexual health.”
At Debunking The Myths we encourage people to get tested for STIs regularly, as it is crucial to your overall health and wellbeing. It is essential to remember that STIs can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation. Regular testing helps ensure that you’re aware of your sexual health status, which is vital for making informed decisions about your relationships and protection. STIs often show no symptoms, or their symptoms can be mistaken for other common ailments. By getting tested regularly, you can catch and treat STIs early, preventing potential complications such as infertility, chronic health problems, or passing the infection to others unknowingly. Remember that testing is easy, confidential, and free in the Republic of Ireland through SH:24.
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