Lembit highlights testing
There are a host of fringe events at this week's Lib Dem conference. One of this evening's meetings focused on HIV and sexual health. Lembit Öpik, Liberal Democrat MP for Montgomeryshire, recalled visiting a Terrence Higgins Trust testing clinic earlier this year to promote sexual health in the run-up to Valentine's Day.
At the time of his visit in February, he said, "We live in a sexualised society, where the media is saturated with a multitude of sexual imagery and messages. But when it comes to our sexual health, we seem almost unable to even discuss it, let alone take basic precautions to make sure we haven't got a sexually transmitted infection. Providing people with the information and skills they need to make positive choices about their health and lives must be a priority.
"Also, investing in contraceptive services must be part of this, especially with incidences of STI's on the rise.
"I want to encourage citizens to get tested and not to pass any unwanted gifts to your partner this Valentine's day! For some reason, we're desperately nervous and embarrassed over something which is just common sense. It's as if we'd rather be ill in ignorance than be treated for what are largely curable conditions. I'm hoping to help take the taboo out of testing - it should be a normal part of keeping healthy. Far from being something to be ashamed of, it's the responsible thing to do - for yourself and for those who you're closest to."