Prioritising Sexual Health during Pride Season
Pride festival season is almost here! FEAST kicks things off in Adelaide, followed by Melbourne’s Midsumma and Sydney’s Mardi Gras. The excitement and anticipation are palpable. Amidst the celebration, it’s likely you’ll be seeking new connections and, with any luck, intimate encounters. Now is the perfect time to get your sexual health and wellbeing sorted for the silly season.
Time to Test
When was your last sexual health check up? If it’s been more than a few months, now is the perfect time to get tested and, if necessary, get treated.
In Adelaide, you can visit the Adelaide Sexual Health Centre or SHINE SA, where staff are well versed in providing care tailored to our LGBTIQ+ communities. STIs can often be asymptomatic, so routine testing is the best way to detect and treat them early.
Seeking a Service
If visiting sexual health centres isn’t practical for you, you can still get a sexual checkup from your regular doctor or GP; however, it’s essential to remember that not all healthcare providers may be familiar with the unique needs of LGBTIQ+ people.
When seeking a STI test from your regular doctor, ask for a comprehensive sexual health test. This should include tests for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and, if you’re HIV-negative or don’t know your status, HIV.
If you don’t have a regular doctor, Emen8’s interactive map can help you find STI and HIV testing services near you: Find A Service | HIV & STI Testing | MPOX Vaccination | Emen8
PrEP for Prevention
Have you considered using PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis)? If you’re HIV negative, PrEP offers a highly effective layer of protection against HIV. Depending on your circumstances, you can use PrEP daily or on-demand. For more information on PrEP and other ways you can reduce your risk of HIV, head to: https://what-works.org/
As we get ready to celebrate and connect this Pride season, let’s make sure we prioritise our sexual health and wellbeing. It will help ensure we look after ourselves as well as our sexual partners.