February is STI/Condom Month with the focus on raising awareness about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and prevention.
There has been a slight drop in the number of STIs recorded at City clinics in the first half of 2018 (17 122), compared to the same period in the previous year (17 430).
A total of 43 232 women under 18 accessed reproductive health services at clinics in 2018, compared to 40 887 in 2017.
Male and female condom distribution increased from just under 41 million in 2017 to nearly 44.5 million in 2018. Condoms offer protection against STIs and also help prevent unwanted pregnancy.
Mayoral committee member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien, said: “We have seen a slight decline in the number of STIs recorded at our facilities, which is very encouraging. We can only hope that this means more people are having protected sex, but we are also wise to the fact that many people still refuse to get tested for HIV and treated for STIs, because of stigma and fear, among other factors.”
All of the City’s clinics are able to diagnose and treat STIs.
Mr Badroodien said, “STI/Condom Month coincides with the ‘month of love’. If you truly love your partner, but more importantly yourself, please ensure that you use protection at all times, get tested, know your status and seek help or advice from your nearest clinic.”