In this blog, I am going to talk about the importance of sexual health advice for care experienced people and why it is important to know this stuff. This is all my own knowledge and experience of being in the foster care system, but also It is a blog that i feel needs to be talked about as many young people in care do not know the risks of sexual health and the risks that can happen.
For alot of us in the fostering system, when we get older, we start thinking about sex alot and this is the same with our peers, but us as care experienced people we need to take more responsibility for our sexual health as when compared to our peers, we do not have the advice and experience of our parents to help us out 24/7 as i found out during my time in care when I went out of control and started being reckless with having sex and contracting an infection.
As we are in care, we do not get taught as much about sexual health like we might off when at home with parents, and more importantly, we do not get told off by our parents when they find out if we had sex before the legal age, as some foster parents do not care, but others do and this is why we all need to take responsibility for our sexual health, becasue we are not always lucky enough to be with placements that teach us this stuff.
During my time in care, I was very reckless and like i said contracted an STI, which scared the living hell out of me because i had no idea what to do and where to go, so I had the most awkward conversation with my foster carer about this, and lets just say she was not best happy, but she was able to take me to the local ‘GUM CLINIC’ also known as the Sexual Health Clinic to get tested and given treatment.
This is what you need to do when you are worried that you have contracted an STI ‘ Sexual Transmitted Infection’ as being tested at the Sexual Health Clinic and treated when you fear you could be at risk is the best way to combat the issue head on especially when you are LGBTQ+ and sexually active, like I was, but this also goes the same for women, who are wanting to plan to have sex but are worried about getting pregnant.
In my experience, going to the clinic the first time is the scariest because you feel that they are asking you the most personal questions going, but rest assured these questions are to help them treat you in the best way possible and make sure that you are given the right treatment if needed. However, if you are planning on having sex with either your boyfriend or girlfriend or even becoming sexual active, always feel that you can talk to your foster carer and have the so called ‘Talk’, but if this is not possible, try and talk to a professional such as someone in school, college or even your social worker, because having this information can help you and can stop you contracting any infections in the long run.
However, if you feel you can not talk to any of these people, you can always go to your local sexual health clinic which you can find by going onto https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-sexual-health-clinic/ and typing in your postcode or town/city, you can also talk to your local GP (General Practice), or your local young people’s Youth Group. Being able to talk to someone can help you in the long run know what to do, but most importantly help you find out if it is the right time for you and what to do if not.
Always remember though, when talking to someone everything is completely confidential unless they feel or think you are at danger to yourself or someone else. For more information on services and a guide to services that can help please visit : https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/sexual-health-services/guide-to-sexual-health-services/
By Anonymous Care Experienced Blogger