Avoid unwanted gifts this festive party season

Somerset party goers are being urged to practice safer sex this Christmas and New Year to avoid receiving any unwanted gifts. 

The festive season is in full swing and the free-flowing alcohol that often comes with it lowers inhibitions and can make it easy to forget to take adequate precautions – putting people at greater risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Sexual health experts in Somerset are warning of the dangers of unprotected sex as the county is seeing an increase in the numbers of people being diagnosed with STIs. These include chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis, as well as a rise of HIV including in older heterosexuals.

It doesn’t matter what your age, gender or sexuality, you could be at risk of exposing yourself to an STI or an unplanned pregnancy. If you have multiple sexual partners or if you have previously had an STI your risk may be increased.

Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Somerset County Council, Christine Lawrence, said: “Many people will enjoy a festive tipple over Christmas, but everyone should make sure they practice safe sex at this time of year as they would at any other time.  If you do think you may be at risk of having an STI you need to get tested so that you can receive treatment and avoid passing it on. Make sure you have enough condoms and contraception to last you the Christmas period.”

You can get a test at a sexual health clinic, your GP or by ordering a free online DIY STI kit

Then the only gift you will need to worry about is that unwanted mug set.

For information on safer sex, STIs, contraception and emergency contraception please visit the Somerset sexual health website at https://swishservices.co.uk/. Here you will also find out how to order an online DIY kit and the Christmas opening times of the Somerset sexual health service.


For more information, please contact the press office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk