PARTY-GOERS are being urged to stay safe during the festive season to protect themselves from sexually-transmitted infections.

That is the message from East Cheshire NHS Trust, which runs sexual health clinics in Northwich, Winsford, Crewe, Nantwich, Knutsford and WIlmlsow – as well as Congleton, Sandbach and Macclesfield.

With celebrations marking Christmas and the end of the year taking place in quick succession, sexual health experts are warning people to remember the risks associated with alcohol consumption and ‘lowered inhibitions’.

Among the dangers of unprotected sex are STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV, as well as unwanted pregnancies.

East Cheshire NHS Trust’s medical director Dr John Hunter explained: “At this time of year, many people will be enjoying the festive season at a work’s do or Christmas party and might be drinking more than planned.

“After consuming alcohol, judgement can be impaired often meaning that people forget to take precautions during sexual activity.

“This increases the risk of contracting a sexually-transmitted infection and unwanted pregnancies, which is why we are campaigning for local people to practice safe sex and protect themselves as we head into the New Year.

“For anyone who has any concerns or symptoms that they are worried about, there is local help available.

“Visit to find your nearest clinic or get in touch with us for confidential, non-judgemental advice and support.

“Information about practicing safe sex is also available online on the NHS Choices website.”