People in Liverpool look set for a very merry Christmas after orders for free condoms surged by 44% in the run up to the big day, compared to this time last year.
It comes as clinicians at Axess sexual health services urge people to have safe sex over the festive period.
January is usually a busy time for sexual health services, after students return home during the Christmas break and people deal with the aftermath of the festive party season.
As well as being cautious to socialise safely with rising COVID cases, people are being urged to practice safe sex by using a condom with any new sexual partners and making an appointment to get tested as soon as possible if they’ve had unprotected sex.
Dr Martyn Wood, Regional Clinical Lead at Axess, which runs clinics in Liverpool and across the North West, said: “Usually we see people making appointments at the clinic after Christmas and the New Year, either with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or worried about what they might have been exposed to over the festive period.
“It’s really encouraging that we’re seeing so many orders for free condoms, which is the best way to protect yourself and your partner from STIs, which is the last thing anyone wants to receive at Christmas.”
Axess offers free condoms to anyone in the Liverpool, Knowsley, Halton, Warrington and Cheshire East areas. Free condoms can be ordered to home addresses and home testing kits can also be ordered via Axess’ digital partner SH:24.
Whilst still open and available for contraception, testing and treatment, the clinics will be running a reduced timetable between Christmas and New Year, with opening times for each clinic now able to view on the Axess website as well as on Twitter and Instagram on @axess_sh.
Clinics are running on an appointment only basis and appointments can be booked by calling 0300 323 1300.
Emergency contraception is also available from local pharmacies, details of which are also on the Axess website.