Health experts are urging those who had “unprotected festive fun” to now get tested for sexually transmitted illnesses.

With some of the most common STIs becoming detectable after two weeks, experts at the University of Brighton are now telling people to get checked following the festive period.

The advice comes ahead of STIQ day, held every year on January 14 to raise awareness of sexual health and get regular checks for sexually transmitted illnesses.

Nigel Sherriff, Professor of Public Health and Public Promotion at University of Brighton, said: “No one likes to think they’ve caught a sexually transmitted infection but without a test you just can’t be sure.

“The date of STIQ Day was chosen because many common STIs, like chlamydia, can take two weeks to be detectable. So, if your festive season included unprotected sex then you should be thinking about getting tested now.”

Professor Sherriff and the University of Brighton are taking part in a World Health Organisation study of how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted on the delivery of sexual and reproductive health services globally.

Partners for the project include the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the Brighton and Hove Sexual Health and Contraception service, as well as The Saturn Centre, a sexual assault referral centre based in West Sussex.

Professor Sherriff added: “The Covid-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented increase in demand on health services here in the UK and around the world.

"At the same time, the wider social challenges that stemmed from the pandemic - such as lockdowns and other restrictions on movement - meant access to essential services such as sexual and reproductive health services also suffered.

“Working with our local partners, we will be gathering insight from health workers and their clients on issues relating to contraception, abortion, sexual health, as well as care and support for women who have experienced sexual assault.

“Learning from our experiences of the last few years, our findings will identify how we can best support sexual and reproductive health service provision and infrastructure should another pandemic occur.”