With rates of sexually transmitted infections among gay men continuing to increase, ACON have launched a handy guide aimed at raising awareness of them. The guide shows what the infections are, what they look like and -“ most importantly – what to do if you’ve got one.

Called Last Night I Picked Up Someone -¦ And Something, the colourful -“ and graphically frank -“ booklet was launched last week.

In light of increases in STI [sexually transmitted infections] and HIV infection rates in NSW, we are working to reinforce the safe-sex culture among gay men and to improve their knowledge of STI risks, said ACON CEO, Stevie Clayton.

Clayton said there was a consistently low literacy rate around STIs, but continuing increases in STI and HIV infections showed there was a clear need to focus on regular sexual health testing.

The graphic photos would enable readers to see what various STIs look like and thus better arm them to seek help, Clayton said. Early testing is the key.

But she also stressed that some gay men could have sexually transmitted infections without any visible signs -“ highlighting the need, she said, for regular sexual health testing.

Dr Robert Finlayson from the Taylor Square Clinic said the level of knowledge around sexually transmitted infections has diminished -“ particularly for people under the age of 30.

He said there had been noticeable increases in the number of gay men presenting with gonorrhoea across all sites -“ throat, penis and rectum as well as jumps in the number of gay men with chlamydia and syphilis. The majority of syphilis cases were discovered through routine blood testing, he said.

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