Warts and Chlamydia most prevalent STIs

The Western Trust has said that awareness is key to reducing the incidence of STIs locally.
The Western Trust has said that awareness is key to reducing the incidence of STIs locally.

Herpes, Chlamydia and genital warts are the most common sexually transmitted infections being dealt with locally, a consultant from the Western Trust has confirmed.

Sexually active young people from Derry and the wider north west have been urged to make sure they are tested regularly for infections at the Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) Clinic at Altnagelvin.

The latest figures obtained from the Public Health Agency show that there were over 5,000 episodes of sexually transmitted infection involving people presenting for the first time across the north during 2014. This figure does not include people treated previously.

Dr. Melissa Perry, Western Trust GUM Consultant, said: “The commonest STIs that we see locally are genital warts, genital herpes and Chlamydia, although there is a wide variety of possible infections that patients might present with in our local clinic and these also include HIV, syphilis, and Gonorrhoea.

“An individual’s risk of having an infection very much depends on their sexual history but anyone who has had unprotected sex should consider having a check-up. This not only enables an individual with an infection to obtain treatment to prevent subsequent problems related to the infection but also helps prevent the onward spread of these infections. People can be at risk of acquiring an infection even if they have only had oral sex with someone.”

Dr. Perry said early treatment was of paramount importance. She said: “For example recent studies show that those who are HIV positive benefit from early treatment but that also the risk of them transmitting the virus on to their sexual partners is dramatically reduced. It is also important to remember the earlier you seek advice the more quickly we can get to the bottom of the problem.”