Be proud, be safe and be tested at Swindon Pride
The Sexual Health team from the Great Western Hospital will be hitting Swindon Pride this weekend armed with condoms, chlamydia tests and colourful t-shirts. For the third year running, the team, who are based on the fourth floor of the Swindon hospital and at Carfax Health Centre, will be on hand at the festival to give out advice and information on all aspects of sexual health. Now an annual event, Swindon Pride is Wiltshire’s only lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender festival. As in previous years, the team will be dishing out free condoms and offering while-you-wait tests for chlamydia and gonorrhoea. Matt Othold, Sexual Health Adviser, said: “Swindon Pride is always a great event with a fantastic atmosphere, so we’re really excited to be back again for 2016. “While it’s all about having fun and celebrating diversity, we also want people to take just a moment to think about their sexual health as it’s something that all people, whether they are gay or straight, need to take responsibility for. “We’re a really friendly team and there’s nothing we haven’t heard or seen before, so if you’ve got a question to ask about sexual health, we hope you’ll pop by and say hello at Swindon Pride.” Following Swindon Pride, which takes place on Saturday 20 August in the Town Gardens in Swindon’s Old Town, the team will for the first time be providing a dedicated HIV clinic for anyone wishing to be tested. This will be held at the Great Western Hospital on the morning of Thursday 25 August and is free to attend for people regardless of age, gender or sexuality. Appointments for the clinic, which involves having a blood test, can be made by speaking to the team at Swindon Pride or by calling the sexual health department directly on 01793 604038. Last year, nearly 1,300 people in Swindon were newly diagnosed with a type of sexually transmitted infection, which is higher than the national average.