The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has launched a Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance (SHAG) campaign in collaboration with the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme.
The campaign will be rolled out in campuses across Ireland over Valentine's week, with the tagline of ‘Are You Getting It?’. If you’re getting it, then you’re getting STI information and testing, getting contraception advice and getting consent.
“This year, we’re asking students ‘are you getting it?’ when it comes to STI tests and consent. It’s important that every student who’s sexually active look after their own sexual health. This means getting tested regularly, using condoms to protect you from the risk of contracting an STI,” USI president Michael Kerrigan.
Helen Deely, Head of the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme, added: “We would actively encourage people who are thinking of having sex or are sexually active to think ahead and practice safer sex. Using a condom will help limit the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection and an unplanned pregnancy. The HSE is delighted to partner with USI on this initiative and the Johnny’s Got You Covered campaign team will be on hand to distribute condoms and lubricant to students”.
The HSE Johnny’s Got You Covered campaign team will be on location at IT Carlow, Waterford IT and NUI Maynooth University. The SHAG roadshow will continue up to Queen’s University Belfast.
Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) provisional records show that in 2017, there were 5,200 cases of young people diagnosed with either chlamydia (3730), gonorrhea (872) or genital herpes (598), representing an 11.2% increase of these STIs in the 15-24 age group when compared to 2016 figures.
In 2017, the HSE in partnership with USI distributed 40,000 condoms and lubricant packs to students as part of the #SHAG 2017 campaign.