Sexual health is more than protecting yourself or your partner from pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases – it’s about being informed, confident and in control, respected and respectful.
16- to 25-year-olds have the highest diagnosis rates of sexually transmitted infection (STIs) of any age group. Protecting your own and your partner's sexual health is key to having enjoyable and healthy sex, whatever your relationship situation.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are passed from one person to another through unprotected sex or genital, oral or anal contact. Anyone who has sex can get an STI, you don’t need to have lots of sexual partners. Anyone can get and pass on STIs.
Using a condom when you have sex is the best way to avoid catching an STI, however there are a number of things you can do to help prevent the risk of exposure to infections.
- Talking with your partner(s) about STIs, sexual health and contraception use before having sex.
- Getting Tested, along with your partner before sexual activity. Many STIs have no symptoms at all so it’s safer to get tested.
- Avoiding sex when under the influence of alcohol or drugs as this can reduce your ability to make good decisions.
- Some clinicians may recommend that you have a vaccine against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Hepatitis B (Hep B).
Public Health Wales offer a free C-Card scheme to under 25's . USW are part of this scheme and you can register for this scheme via a telephone appointment with a USW Nurse. Free condoms are then available on campus from both the International office and Accommodation office if you are under 25.
alternative pick up points
Free Condom Scheme
Frisky Wales Testing
Frisky Wales have launched STI postal testing for anyone aged over 16. The tests can be ordered from Frisky Wales.
Some things to remember when ordering the test:
- You can take a test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea and/or a test for HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C in your own home. Just complete the questions and we will send you a FREE test kit.
- STIs may not show up on tests straight away after sex – this delay is known as the ‘window period’.
- If you think you may have been at risk of infection, it's advised you wait 2 weeks after potential exposure before providing a sample for testing for chlamydia and Gonorrhoea. For HIV and syphilis, the window period is 6 weeks.
- The kit has everything you need for the test and once you’ve collected your sample you simply post it back, in the envelope provided, to the laboratory for testing. It’s freepost so you don’t need a stamp.
- You will receive your results within two weeks of returning your sample.
- If any of your results are POSITIVE the sexual health service in your area will be in touch to arrange your free and confidential treatment and care.
- If all of your results are negative and all of the tests you requested were able to be processed you will receive a text message.
- If you do not receive a call from the services or a text message it usually means that the sample could not be tested. This is usually the blood sample as there was not enough sample or it had not mixed with the chemicals in tube. Consider re-ordering for this test. For instructions on how to do the tests visit here.
- If you have any questions about the postal testing please contact [email protected].
Get support and advice on sexual health
If you have any concerns about sexual health or are having relationship problems, plenty of help and support is available: