It’s an exciting time of year for students who’ve just received their exam results and are heading off to college in the coming weeks.
But in order to ensure even the most frivolous of freshers stay safe from sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies, county-based charity Herts Aid will be attending further education facilities to offer free condoms, sexual health advice and chlamydia tests to students.
The homegrown HIV and sexual health organisation is attending Freshers’ Fairs across Herts, including the West Herts College campuses in Kings Langley and Watford – and will even quiz the pupils on their safe-sex knowledge and be on-hand to answer any of their questions.
Herts Aid will also be registering students for the sexual health c-card which enables them to pick up free condoms from a number of venues across Hertfordshire.
The scheme also helps young people make informed choices regarding relationships, get tested for chlamydia and understand the types of contraception available.
Charity director Suzanne Bannister said: “Freshers’ Fairs are the perfect time for us to remind students about the risks of unsafe sex.
“There are often no signs at all that someone has an STI. Some people have infections but don’t know it, so asking them won’t help either.
“If you’re having sex, the best way to protect yourself from STIs is to use a condom every time.”
Herts Aid will be offering chlamydia screening for which students provide a urine sample – or a swab for girls if they prefer – which will be sent off to be tested. Results can be sent by text, letter, email, or phone call and are normally available within ten days.
According to the charity, offering chlamydia testing at college may encourage students who wouldn’t normally consider it or who find a sexual health clinic environment off-putting to get themselves tested.