Sexual Health

Your sexual health is not just about preventing a pregnancy or an STI, it is also about feeling good and getting the most out of your relationships. Taking care of your sexual health really matters! It is just as important as keeping the rest of your body healthy.

Taking your time to get to know a new partner will mean you’ll feel more comfortable when you do decide to have sex. If you’ve decided you are both ready for sex, it’s time to talk about safe sex.

Age of consent

In Scotland, the age of consent is 16 for sex whether straight (guy on girl) or gay (guy on guy or girl on girl). If either person is under 16, then the person over 16 is breaking the law.

Sex between two people aged 13-15 is considered in law to be an offence even if they both consent (give permission). People under 13 are not legally able to give consent and anyone having sex with someone under 13 could be sentenced to life in prison.

Oral Sex

Most sexually transmitted infections can be passed on through unprotected oral sex. It can be low risk if you practise safer oral sex.

The risks from oral sex can be reduced if you:
  • always use a fresh condom
  • change the dam or condom if in use for a long time
  • refrain from oral sex if there are any signs of infection
  • refrain from oral sex if the person giving it has any cuts or sores in their mouth.

Anal Sex

Having unprotected anal sex, whether you're a man or a woman, is a high risk activity for almost every sexually transmitted infection.

The risks from anal sex can be reduced if you:
  • always use a fresh condom
  • use extra lubrication
  • never share anal toys without a fresh condom
  • don't touch your face, genitals or any cuts or wounds before washing your hands.


This is a virus which attacks the body’s defence system (immune system), and makes you less able to fight off infections. You may have HIV for many years and feel quite well. When the immune system begins to break down, infections and cancers can develop, known as AIDS.

Dumfries and Galloway Sexual Health Team provide information about, prevention, testing & offer training to NHS staff, statutory and non statutory organisations and members of the public who are at increased risk of catching a bloodborne virus.
Tel: 01387 272724

Find out more about your sexual health: Dumfries and Galloway Sexual Health team