Date: Immediate Release
Leaving Nothing to Chance on Valentine’s Day
Sexplained One – Sex & Your Health is the culmination of one woman’s passion and determination to ensure that we take sexual health seriously, understand the risks and consequences if we don’t – and leave nothing to chance on Valentine’s Day.
Helen Knox, a nurse with 25 years’ NHS experience in Contraception (Family Planning) and Sexual Health and practical experience as a sexual health outreach professional, teaching in schools, and working in clinics, has published the third book in her Sexplained … series. It is no coincidence that publication of her latest book has been timed for Valentine’s Day. This is the day when there will be a surge in people having unprotected sex who will acquire a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) or become pregnant.
Helen cautions: ‘Spur of the moment unprotected sex, often leads to heartache. This is regardless of age, background or whether or not the person is in a stable, loving relationship or has a casual sexual encounter. It may be very unromantic but In March, there will be a predictable rise in the number of people requesting a check-up because they just got carried away with the moment or believed that it wasn’t polite or necessary to ask their partner to use a condom.
‘The World Health Organisation estimates that, globally, over 340 million cases of SAIs occur every year, equating to almost one million cases every single day – or one SAI every 11.5 seconds. STIs such chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, genital warts and HIV infection can be passed on easily between couples where one has had unprotected sex in a hitherto unknown sexual relationship. When an STI is diagnosed, the innocent party with the tell-tale signs of itching or discharge, will receive confirmation their partner has been unfaithful. This often leads to divorce and devastating consequences for a family.
‘Unplanned pregnancy, whether a casual or romantic encounter, can have equally devastating consequences – particularly in today’s difficult economic climate and with the cut in benefits. Abortion is never an easy option.’
Aimed at a wide age range and geographically dispersed audience, Helen’s book is a comprehensive reference work and foundation for sex education and a valuable resource for individuals in search of remedial answers to a multiplicity of questions about sexual health.
Sexplained One – Sex & Your Health is the product of Helen’s personal database and resource of more than 15,000 genuine questions and answers and many intensely personal issues that need to be addressed by worried men, women, boys and girls, who cannot, for a variety of reasons, bring themselves to seek professional help face to face. These are private individuals who, having nowhere else to go, have sought help anonymously through Helen’s popular Sexplained Column started over a decade ago.
Sexplained One – Sex & Your Health, which takes the clinic to the street, contains 95 colour medical images and explains over 100 sexually related conditions in a variety of ways, and is published by Knox Publishing, 136 St Stephens Crescent, Brentwood, Essex. Tel: +44 208 144 0950 or 07976 657 252. Cost: £19.99 + £2.50 p&p.
NOTES FOR EDITORS: Contact Helen Knox on 07976 657 252; email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a review copy.
Sexual health issues go largely unrecognised by the public, policymakers, and health care professionals, who are often too embarrassed to acknowledge that their patients may have a Sexually Acquired Infection (SAI), so are unable to discuss this vital aspect freely. This, therefore, brings into sharp focus the need for health care professionals within all communities to be better educated about the complex issues of human sexuality and its risks.
In these so-called sexually enlightened times, we need those in authority to understand the importance of safe sex and the beliefs, taboos and misconceptions. They must be able to discuss the facts openly, frankly and with sensitivity – without appearing to be judgmental. Equally important, is the need to communicate the reasons for routine testing more effectively. Significantly, what may be a routine test in one place may not be routine in another.
It is ironic that, in recent years, governments have become more concerned, effective and successful in communicating our collective social responsibility towards a reduction in carbon emissions than they have been towards focusing prevention efforts to maximise disease prevention and cost reduction.
Estimates of SAI incidence and costs represent a substantial economic burden and remain a significant public health problem. They cause many harmful, often irreversible, and costly clinical complications, such as:
- Reproductive health problems
- Foetal and perinatal health problems
- Facilitation of the sexual transmission of HIV infection
The World Health Organisation estimates that, globally, over 340 million cases of SAIs occur every year, equating to almost one million cases every single day or one SAI every 11.5 seconds. The annual occurrence of SAIs, including HIV, accounts for the loss of more than 51 million years of healthy life among men, women and children worldwide. In developing countries, SAIs account for 17% of economic losses caused by ill health. An estimated 19 million new cases of SAIs occur each year in the United States, alone, with a price tag of $12 — $20 billion (including HIV) in lifetime direct medical costs. Also, the indirect costs — such as lost productivity — associated with SAIs are substantial. *
For example, the lifetime indirect cost per case of HIV in the USA is almost $1 million and in the UK each new case is estimated at up to £360,000 in lifetime treatment and clinical care costs, alone. In just 2011, for example, there were 6,280 new HIV cases diagnosed in the UK and their prevention would have saved the British taxpayer between £1.5 and £2.5 billion in lifetime treatment and care costs. Since 1981, over 120,000 people have been diagnosed with HIV in the UK, of whom 27,000 have developed AIDS and more than 20,000 have died. In the UK today, approximately 25,000 people carry HIV infection but are unaware of their status, and are likely to be infecting others.
This new edition of Sexplained One – Sex & Your Health is a timely reminder that the public, policymakers and health care professionals need to be better educated so that they can influence sexual risk-taking behaviour compellingly. As a result they can encourage a new generation of young people and a significant number of older men and women seeking new relationships, to adopt and maintain safer sexual behaviour.
The consequences of not doing so effectively and for the long term, ruins lives, relationships and communities, and place an enormous economic burden on society — all of which is largely avoidable.
Health Protection Agency
According to the Health Protection Agency, London, young people experience the highest rates of STIs, despite efforts to contain them but amongst adults over 50, new HIV diagnoses have more than doubled in recent year, accounting for 8% of new diagnoses.
- In 2011, there were 427,000 new STI cases in England, with an eight per cent increase in London to over 101,000 cases, of which 24,333 were in 16-24 year olds.
- In 2010, there were approximately 5,500,000 young people in England, aged between 16 and 24, and of these, 101,000 (one in 54) had an STI. In London, in 2010, there were approximately 900,000 young people of which 24,333 (one in 36) had an STI.
- Women are approximately 20 times more at risk of contracting an STI from a man than he is from her.
- Unprotected anal sex is approximately 18 times more risky than vaginal.
- It is not just young gay men who are taking sexual health risks.
- Unprotected heterosexual anal sex still carries a taboo and is its practice is significantly more widespread than generally admitted over the coffee table.
* Ref: World Health Organisation, Centre for Disease Control, USA, and Health Protection Agency, UK
**NOTE: This does not account for other costs such as housing, unemployment benefit etc
*** HPA Report 2012 – http://www.hpa.org.uk/webc/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1317137200016
What Sexual Health Professionals Have Said About
Sexplained One — Sex & Your Health is essential reading for any professional working in the field of sexual health, as well as any parent or guardian of teenage children reaching their sexual maturity, and indeed for those young people themselves.
It is equally essential reading for adults without children to worry about, who want to look after themselves, or other people.
Helen has over 25 years of practical experience within the field of sexual, contraceptive and reproductive health, and what is not covered in this book… well probably isn’t known to science!
Packed full of evidence based and researched information; this book is a culmination of Helen’s experience and wide depth of understanding of her subject.
Professionals will gain a meaningful understanding and overview of sexual and reproductive health issues, and gain an idea of some of the very common questions that often occur within practice. The book will arm them with practical advice on how to answer questions in a straightforword way, to which young people and clients can relate, and gain knowledge to make informed choices.
For parents, the book provides insight into issues of gender, sex and sexuality as well as practical and informative information about sexual infections, risks and prevention. The knowledge gained will empower any parent with a ‘toolkit’ that will allow you to talk openly and frankly with your teenage child as they mature into a sexually active young person.
For young people, this book has all you need to know about having sex, keeping it safe, not getting pregnant and avoiding disease, with a no non-sense approach that gives facts and information in an understandable and highly readable way. Dispel the myths and stories of your peers and get the facts. Know about using condoms, finding a contraceptive method that works for you and how your body works on a sexual level.
This book would be a welcomed addition to any home, school, college, university or public library.The chapters on different infections contain a wealth of information, and help to overcome the stigma of sexually transmitted infections, and the fear of attending a genito-urinary medicine department. Direct, factual and in parts witty, Helen is a marvel and this book is a testament to her passion, charisma and dedication to the field.
Justin Gaffney RN, Chair of Genito-Urinary Nurses Association (GUNA), UK
About the Author
Described in 2004 by the UK’s Nursing Times magazine as ‘a courageous innovator’, Helen J Knox qualified as a Registered Nurse at Westminster Hospital, London SW1 in 1978. She worked as a Senior Staff Nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital Accident and Emergency Department, London, and later as a District Nursing Sister in West London. In the mid 1980s, she moved into the specialist field of Family Planning and has worked in the area of reproductive health as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Contraception and Sexual Health ever since.
Initially covering up to seven clinical sessions in West and North-West London and teaching in two or three men’s prisons each week, she gained a unique insight into the reproductive and sexual health needs of both genders.
In 1991, a time when there was no-one to base such work on and talking about sexual health was considerably more risky and ‘taboo’ than it is today, Helen became the UK’s first Outreach Clinical Nurse Specialist in this field, working in the deprived multi-ethnic, inner-city South London Borough of Lambeth. She introduced ‘condom supply points’ to South London and by promising organisers a regular supply of condoms for participants or residents, she gained access to many unsuspecting audiences.
She could be found in all sorts of unexpected locations, teaching people of all ages about contraception and sexual health. Places included, but were not limited to: homeless hostels, youth clubs, drug agencies, probation centres, pupil referral units, civic centres, sex work projects, job clubs, bus stations, boxing gyms, mental health and learning disabled units, mother and baby projects, women’s refuges, schools, colleges, and universities. She even held a session with young people who insisted on sitting in a graveyard rather than their classroom.
All of this contributed to her unique perspective on the challenges of sexual health promotion, and in 1994, led her to become a finalist in the Nursing Times / 3M National Nursing Awards for Innovation in Nursing and Midwifery for her outreach work in South London.
In her own time, Helen became The Virgin Sexpert, running the first moderated chat room for Virgin Net. She then set up her own Sexplained Cyber Clinics and her very busy website, WillyWorries.com.
Unable to find accessible leaflets to answer questions she was being asked, Helen wrote a booklet to explain some topics. In 1995, she published her highly acclaimed first book, SEXplained… The Uncensored Guide to Sexual Health, which changed her life, forever.
In 1999, she published it’s sequel, SEXplained 2… For Young People. In the same year, she formed Sexplained Ltd. and went on holiday to Barbados — a trip that took her life in a different direction.
Since 2001, Helen has written a monthly ‘6-page column’ for that country’s Better Health Magazine. Extracts of which are included in this book to bring the topic to life.
In 2004, Helen became an Assessor for the RCN (Royal College of Nursing) Sexual Health Skills Course.
Since 2011, Helen has redesigned Sexplained Training to give people a comfortable way of learning about contraception and sexual health subjects in ‘bite sized’ portions, in an enjoyable way. And, at the time of writing, she is undertaking a Masters in Social Innovation and still undertakes regular clinical sessions in London.
She has appeared over 200 times on TV and radio in the UK, and overseas, and been invited to speak at national conferences. She has also appeared on stage alongside actors/comedians Robbie Gee and Eddie Nestor, to drive home some health messages in a rather unusual way.
This book greatly updates and extends Helen’s first book, for a world in which sexual health is no longer such a taboo topic. As with her first book, Helen believes that it should not only be clinicians, who get to see the visual presentation of various sexually acquired conditions.
Medical pictures are used throughout this book to show a range of sexual conditions, some obvious and some less so. It is hoped that the reader will appreciate how, quite commonly, it is impossible to tell by looking at someone if they have a transmittable condition, or not.
For more information about Helen, her books, training and to be kept up to date with developments, please visit http://www.sexplained.com
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