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Oxford issues warnings over gonorrhoea outbreak

Several colleges have issued warnings that gonorrhoea cases are increasing amongst 18-25 year-olds in Oxford, and are urging students to carry condoms if meeting for sex.

The news comes after the UK Health Security Agency reported that the sexually transmitted infection is being seen amongst the student population in Oxford. People of all genders and sexualities are affected.

Numerous colleges have circulated advisory emails concerning the disease, its symptoms and actions students can take to protect themselves and get tested. The University’s Welfare Forum urges the use of protective measures like condoms with all new and casual sexual partners. They also stress that anyone who suspects they may have an STI or is seeing a new sexual partner have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) check-up.

The warnings noted that gonorrhoea may be asymptomatic, and that those who experience symptoms complain of unusual discharge, pain when urinating or abdominal pain. The UKHSA notes that “if treated early, gonorrhoea is unlikely to lead to any long-term complications, but without treatment it can spread to other parts of the body and cause serious problems – including severe pain in the reproductive organs and infertility.”

Free at-home STI test kits are available through the NHS. Visits to a physical clinic, which can be found through an online locator tool, or calls to the national sexual help hotline are also free of charge.

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