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Last updated:
23 October 2017

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Find out more about STIs including their symptoms and where to get tested.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are passed from one person to another during unprotected sexual contact. It does not matter how many times you have had sex or how many sexual partners you have had, anyone can get an STI. 

Many STIs show no symptoms at first, the only way to make sure that you don't have an STI after having unprotected sex is to get tested.

The only way you can protect yourself and your partner is by wearing a condom every time you have sex. Condoms are the only method to protect against pregnancy and STIs.

Types of sexually transmitted infection

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most common STI amongst sexually active young people. It is estimated that one in ten young people are infected. Many people who have it do not have any symptoms. If left untreated it can cause serious health problems such as infertility. 

If you are under 25 you can request a free Chlamydia testing kit, pick up a testing kit from a locations across West Sussex or get tested at your local FindItOut Centre

Find out more about chlamydia.

HIV/AIDS

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. The virus attacks the bodies immune system, making it less able to fight infections. HIV is usually passed on through sexual intercourse but can also be passed by sharing needles when using drugs.

Anyone can contract AIDS by having unprotected sex. 

Find out more about HIV/AIDS.

Genital herpes

Genital herpes is caused by the virus Herpes simplex (HSV). There are two types, HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both types can infect the genital and anal area and also the mouth and nose (cold sores) and fingers and hand (whitlows).

Find out more about genital herpes.

Genital warts

Genital warts are the most common viral STI. They are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which can be passed on during sexual contact.

Find out more about genital warts.

Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is a bacterial STI. It can be painful and can cause serious health problems such as infertility in both men and women.

Find out more about gonorrhoea.

Syphilis

Syphilis is not as common as some STIs but if left untreated it can cause very serious health problems in both men and women.

Find out more about syphilis.

Other STIs include non-specific urethritis, trichomonas vaginalis, HPV (human papilloma virus). More information on these can be found on the Family Planning Association website.

Get tested for STIs

If you have any of the following symptoms you should get yourself tested at a sexual health clinic:

  • unusual discharge from your penis or vagina
  • stinging or burning when you pee
  • rash, sores or warts around your genitals
  • bleeding between your periods, especially after sex.

All STIs can be helped with medical treatment, so if you have you have one, get tested as soon as possible. 

Other sites that might be useful

 

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