VALENTINE’S DAY is an exciting time. Lots of people, young and old, will be starting up new romances and many of these will lead to sexual relationships.

For those who think about the potential unintended consequences of these things, it is also a timely reminder of why sexual health services, such as testing and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are so important.

We are only weeks away from these services being handed over to our council as part of the Government’s health reforms.

This comes at a time when the number of people living with HIV has trebled in the last ten years to over 100,000 (one in four of whom don’t know they have it) and over half a million STIs in total are diagnosed each year, most of them in our young people.

I hope our council understands the importance of sexual health to local people, even though it may not be the most visible and talked about of problems. I wish them all the best in dealing with these important problems so that people can pursue their new-found romances as safely and enjoyably as possible.

Samantha Garwe, Skipton House, York.