Sexually transmitted infections in Huddersfield were found to be increasing, with reinfection rates for males at 10% (the national is 9.1%).

The University Health Centre carried out an audit that revealed that males attending the in-house sexual health clinic were nearly two thirds lower than that of females. ‘Play Safe, Stay Safe’ was created to help try and improve the update of men accessing sexual health screening by providing a self-screening STI pack which was available to ick up from boxes in the student union of the university and the University Health Centre. The boxes were emptied each day and processed by the clinical staff at the health centre and sent to the local microbiology lab. Upon receipt of the individual’s results they were either texted with a negative result message or invited into the clinic to be seen for follow up care and, where needed, treatment of any diagnosed infection.

James’ story

James was a 19 year old young male from South Wales. He was brought up in a very rural part of South wales and had a very strict upbringing.  His parents were not keen on James socialising and going out drinking and any mention of a girlfriend was frowned upon.  James decided to apply for The University in Huddersfield to give him a chance to explore who he was and start being more independent away from his caring parents.

He arrived in Huddersfield in time for fresher’s week and soon made lots of new friends and found himself out partying on most nights.  He soon became popular with the ladies and had numerous one night stands.  He was not always sure whether he had had safe sex as a lot of the time he could not remember the finer details of the encounters and didn’t usually see the girl again.

James had registered with the University Health Centre in Fresher’s week and during registration the nurse had told James about all the services on offer including a drop in contraception and sexual health clinic and where James could access free condoms.  James took a leaflet from the nurse but didn’t intend to attend the clinic, he was having a great time and could not possibly catch a sexually transmitted infection as he and his friends were invincible!

James continued living life to the full and was loving University.  One of his friends had told him about an evening where any team who completed the most STI screening kits would win a box full of Christmas food and drink- mainly alcohol, James thought the prize was worth entering the competition for.  He submitted his pack and the next day his team were announced as the winners.   Over the next few days James saw his friends receive text messages from The Play Safe, Stay Safe campaign saying their results were negative.  James however received a phone call from one of the nurses and was told he had tested positive for Chlamydia. James could not believe this and asked if they could have got it wrong.  James was reassured the test was correct and was invited into the clinic that morning.

The results were discussed with James and he was provided with treatment.  The nurse needed to know details of all sexual contacts that James had had so that they could be informed and treated.  James could not remember all of their names as there were so many. He was embarrassed about this and was cross with himself.  The nurse discussed the importance of safe sex and also discussed safe alcohol limits.  The nurse reassured James that with a one off dose of antibiotics that his infection would clear and he was advised to re-screen in 3 months to ensure he had a negative result.   He would also have a follow up telephone call in two weeks to ensure his treatment went to plan.

James decided he needed to act more responsibly when out with his friends and not have as many encounters whilst under the influence of alcohol.  He had taken some condoms from the nurse and intended to use them in case he did have a one night stand.  He found that the STI screening packs were available in the men’s toilets so chose to complete a test each month.  He also made full use of the free condoms and even told all his flat mates about the packs.

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  • Location
  • Project date
    Duration - one year
  • Key aim
    To create a bespoke sexual health service targeting the male population at the University of Huddersfield to increase their accessing of screening and offer evidence-based health promotion and advice.