Every year, before the summer, the Ministry of Health launches a communication campaign to raise awareness among the population, especially teenagers and young adults, about how to protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
"Our aim is to inform about the risks of unprotected sex and to encourage young people to adopt responsible sexual behaviour. This includes the use of condoms and regular screenings for those who are sexually active," said Paulette Lenert, Minister of Health.
STIs are a major public health problem worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1 million people contract an STI every day. Preventing these infections is therefore a priority for the health and well-being of the population. In Luxembourg, the number of reported STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis) increased from 1,755 in 2021 to 2,171 in 2022, which corresponds to an increase of 23.7%. This is mainly due to an increase in cases of chlamydia.
Simple measures to protect yourself and avoid transmission
As most STIs cause few or no symptoms, a person may be infected and contagious without knowing it. STIs can have serious health consequences (AIDS as a result of HIV infection, cancers as a result of human papillomavirus infection, infertility as a result of chlamydia (HPV) infection) if they are not prevented and, if necessary, detected and treated in time.
There are simple ways to protect oneself, and it is recommended to apply the following measures to avoid the transmission of STIs:
- Get vaccinated against HPV and hepatitis A and B.
- Use a condom every time you have sex and with every partner whose infection status you do not know.
- Get tested for STIs and HIV regularly if you have multiple partners.
- Get tested for STIs and HIV if you want to stop using condoms with a regular partner.
- Take and complete treatments prescribed by your doctor.
- Inform your partner(s) so that they can also be tested and treated if necessary.
- Do not share needles or sniffing equipment.
From adolescence onwards, young people are encouraged to consult health professionals regularly for advice on preventing sexually transmitted infections and for screening if necessary. The school health teams are also able to answer questions in complete confidentiality.
The Ministry of Health's awareness campaign
The Ministry of Health is launching an awareness campaign this year on the theme "Protection is good for us", which highlights the need to protect oneself against STIs. Messages will be broadcast on social networks from 8 May. At the same time, field actions will be deployed from May to July to remind people of the importance of getting tested and using condoms:
- Friday 12 May from 2 pm to 6 pm at Hamilius - Luxembourg-City
- Saturday 13 May from 5 pm to 8 pm at the Culture Forest Festival - Esch-sur-Alzette
- Tuesday 16 May from 2 pm to 6 pm at Hamilius - Luxembourg-City (the DIMPS-Mobile HIV Testing of the Luxembourg Red Cross will also be present)
- Saturday 24 June from 3 pm to 7 pm at the Sirens Call Festival - Neumünster
- Saturday 08 July from 4 pm to 7 at the Pride Street Fest - Esch-sur-Alzette
- Sunday 9 July from 2 pm to 5 pm at Pride Street Fest - Esch-sur-Alzette
It is recommended that you speak to your doctor if you have any doubts or questions.
For more information on STIs, their risks and prevention, see the "Sexually Transmitted Diseases" section of the www.sante.luand www.safersex.lu websites.
Press release by the Ministry of Health