Stay Safe And Get Checked: STI Advice from Debunking The Myths

February 21, 2024by debunkingthemyths.ie

Stay safe and get checked: STI awareness advice by ‘Debunking The Myths‘ Doctor Zara Molphy, Head of Research Programmes at RCSI Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology featured in The Irish Mirror. This advice runs in conjunction with the STI testing and treatment awareness campaign which can be found on social media platforms such as TikTok...

Stay safe and get checked: STI awareness advice by ‘Debunking The Myths‘ Doctor Zara Molphy, Head of Research Programmes at RCSI Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology featured in The Irish Mirror.

This advice runs in conjunction with the STI testing and treatment awareness campaign which can be found on social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram under our handle @debunkingmyths_ this campaign was launched to provide young adults with access to factual information about STI testing and treatment within an Irish context.

The ‘Debunking The Myths’ workshops are aimed at 4th to 6th year secondary school students and aim to provide them with comprehensive, non-judgmental sexual health education delivered by healthcare experts in Ireland.

In the article Zara talks about the about how STI rates have increased by 20% since pre-pandemic figures, we can’t really say why this has happened but it’s likely due to a number of reasons including life returning to normal after the pandemic, everyone is back socialising and travelling, some people are back travelling to countries with high rates of STIs. one positive thing is that during 2021 the government opened free STI testing on a pilot basis and since then it has expanded nationwide. The rates of testing has also increased which would contribute to the increase in numbers.

The home kits are available from SH:24.ie so it’s a really website where you can order your free test online. They ask you a number of questions about the types of sex you’ve had, who you had it with, if you used protection, and were there any risks involves. Basically then what happens is a lovely white packet comes with no markings, it could be anything. What is contains is the required test kit based on the questions you answered and a return envelope so you don’t have to pay postage. Then you get a text to say your test is received and when to expect results.

People can get tested in person by attending GP, community nurses, health services in third level education, Well Woman clinics and the Irish Family Planning Association. And we’ve already spoken about the SH:24 online kits which are available to teens over the age of 16. There’s also STI clinics such as the GUIDE clinic in St. James’ Hospital which hosts a special clinic for young people. There are a lot of options.

The RCSI Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department is actually based in the Rotunda Hospital and we treat women of all ages and stages in their reproductive lifecycle. Over the last couple of years we’ve noticed the impact of misinformation and Doctor Google on our patients. We’ve become more conscious of the difficulties that teenagers face in respect to this. We got the grant from SFI and it’s currently a 2 year programme which started Jan 2022, we’ve delivered in-person and online workshops which are 2 hours in length and they build on topics which are covered in the RSE curriculum. consent anatomy SATU etc.

One of the benefits of the workshops are that students can ask our experts anonymous questions through the use of an app and that’s how we collated the most popular questions from the students. It’s amazing because they might be a bit embarrassed to speak up in front of their peers.

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.

This project is funded by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, in conjunction with The Science Foundation Ireland and The Rotunda Foundation.

https://debunkingthemyths.ie/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/SFI_logo_2015_colour-2.png
https://debunkingthemyths.ie/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/rcsi_logo_whie.png
Privacy & Legal

Debunking the Myths: The Science Behind Our Sexual Health is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and supported by The Rotunda Hospital and The Rotunda Foundation. This website uses Cookies. Continued use of the site will be deemed as your acceptance of this necessity.