The 18-24 age group is the demographic most affected by sexually transmitted infections in the UK. If you’re a student then the chances are you fall into this age bracket, and although many of you needn’t worry, the number of people affected by STI’s is rising.

Last year, around 190,000 people in the UK were diagnosed with chlamydia in NHS genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics alone, not including those diagnosed by GPs or in screening programmes. A recent survey also found that only one third (31.5%) of young adults between the ages of 18-24 are happy to visit sexual health clinics for chlamydia screening, meaning the total number of cases from 2012 could be far greater. Sexually transmitted infections are on the rise in the UK, but while statistics like these can be frightening, you shouldn’t start panicking about sexual health; there are plenty of ways to keep yourself safe, and if anything does go wrong, help is never far away.

There is often no obvious way of knowing if someone has an STI, and since you’re probably not going to want to spoil the mood by straight out asking them, you may as well keep yourself safe, no matter what. It might seem silly to be that bothered about protection, but it could save you a lot of problems in the long run. Plus, plenty of surgeries and clinics provide free condoms, so it doesn’t even have to cost you anything to stay safe!

If you’ve woken up after a one night stand feeling a bit unsure, don’t panic, even if you’re in the percentage of people who are sceptical about going for a screening. Companies such as The STI Clinic provide tests for sexually transmitted infections, which can be ordered online or over the phone with next day delivery. Once the test is completed, you simply post it back to them, and await your results. If they’re positive, The STI Clinic will refer you to their partner clinic, who will provide medication to arrive the next day.

With cases of Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and genital herpes all on the increase, it sounds like a good idea to keep your business under wraps. After all, no one really wants to be one of those statistics, do they? So next time you’re busting out some sweet moves on the dance floor in the hope of getting lucky, just think; you never know what you could walk away with after a one night stand.