Summer of Love

An image of a banana and an orange with happy faces. The banana is wearing a hat and embracing the orange. There is a cocktail beside the orange and love hearts around both. Text says: "Choose to protect yourself. Summer of love."

The sun is shining, the drinks are flowing and you’re ready for a hot summer but first, make sure to look after your sexual health and wellbeing, and here’s how!

Sexual Health Support

Making positive choices about contraception and sexual health is important not just for your physical health, but for your general wellbeing too.

Thinking you have an STI or that you might be pregnant can affect your emotional health and wellbeing. The good news is that it’s free and easy to get tested.

There’s lots of ways you can get sexual health support this summer:

  • Contraception: When it comes to contraception there are many choices, and it's so important to use what's right for you. You can check out all the different contraception methods and where to get them on Let's Talk About It
  • Emergency Contraception: If things don’t quite go to plan, you can take emergency contraception up to three days* after you’ve had unprotected sex – the sooner you take it, the more effective it will be. Visit your local pharmacy or GP
  • STI Testing: It’s quick, free and easy to get yourself tested this summer. STI testing kits, which test for HIV, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Hepatitis B and C, are available to order for free online via the Lets Talk About It website or you can make an appointment at your local sexual health clinic.

(*Three days (Levonelle) or five days (ellaOne). Source.)

Drug and Alcohol Advice

Drugs and alcohol often increase the chances of you having unprotected sex and can affect your ability to effectively communicate.

If you know you’re likely to drink or take drugs, here are some tips on how to stay safe this summer:

  • Eat first if you're planning to drink
  • Space out your drinks and try to alternate alcoholic drinks with water
  • Don't accept drinks from people you don't know
  • It is always safest not to use drugs but if you do:
    • Start slow – use a small amount to check strength and effect (“Crush, Dab, Wait”)
    • Don’t mix drugs with other drugs including alcohol or prescription medications
    • Don’t use alone
  • Have a trusted friend with you who could look after you if you become unwell
  • Make sure you plan an alternative way of getting home, so you don't drink and drive
  • Ask for help if you’re unwell, medical services will want to help you
  • Be prepared by having condoms and lube. If you know you are likely to have sex under the influence of alcohol and drugs, you may be eligible for PrEP, a form of HIV protection. Contact your local sexual health clinic if you think you might be eligible
  • Be mindful that a hangover can make you feel anxious or low, so look after yourself and rehydrate the next day

Further information, advice and support

Sexual health SHOW

Drugs and Alcohol SHOW

National advice and support SHOW

Remember, you can always talk to your doctor about anything.