A new sexual health awareness campaign was launched yesterday by the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) in conjunction with the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme and the Irish Family Planning Association. This campaign encourages individuals to ask their pharmacist for advice about their sexual health and contraception needs.
Healthy Ireland carried out a survey in 2015 which found that up to 17% of individuals who were having sexual intercourse outside of a steady relationship did not use any form of protection. The survey found that between 1995 – 2013 there was a considerable increase in the amount of sexually transmitted infection (STIs) cases in Ireland.
According to the Kathy Maher, the President of the IPU, “The incidence of STIs is on the rise and it is critical that people take steps to protect their health and get tested. Your local pharmacist can offer you a private and confidential consultation and can help you arrange to get tested. Your pharmacist can also offer you advice on contraception, as well as dispensing emergency contraception if required.”
A list of free STI clinics and information can be found on hivireland.ie and thinkcontraception.ie. If you have any questions or would like advice regarding STIs or contraception, please don’t hesitate to pop in store and ask any one of our pharmacists or pick up a ‘Guide to Sexually Transmitted Infections’ leaflet.