Play it sex safe and get checked

THE Country Awareness Network is encouraging people to practise safe sex and book in for a health check up. 

The organisation and a team of volunteers will drop into pubs and clubs in Bendigo tonight to raise awareness of the risk of unprotected sex and remind people to visit their doctors. 

CAN executive officer Adam Wright said Valentine's Day was the perfect occasion to remind people of the dangers of the sexually transmitted infections. 

He said chlamydia was the most-frequently reported sexually transmitted infection in Australia. 

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Mr Wright said the rate of chlamydia in Greater Bendigo was higher than the state average and 80 per cent of reports within Bendigo were from the 15 to 25 age group. 

"Chlamydia is probably one of the major concerns because it's known as the silent STI and often doesn't have any symptoms," he said. 

"When left untreated it can lead to infertility.

"It is very important for people if they are sexually active and, if they have more than one partner, to have health screening as part of their regular lifestyle. 

"Many young people have grown up with the message about the dangers of STIs and to use condoms but that is only part of the equation." 

Mr Wright said condoms were the best protection against STIs but said they were not 100 per cent effective.  

"Condoms are one of the best protections against STIs but (people can still contract) STIs," he said. 

"Many STIs don't always come with symptoms, so you might have an STI and not know about it and pass it onto your partner." 

Mr Wright said the Safe Sex Fairy would help spread the message tonight. 

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