What are sexually transmitted infections?
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections in the sex organs, caused by viruses or bacteria. They can be passed on from one person to another during close bodily contact and sexual activity.
Some STIs have symptoms that develop over time, others have no symptoms at all meaning people can pass the infection on without knowing they have it.
Chlamydia is a very common STI which often has no symptoms. It can cause damage to the fallopian tubes and can impact fertility. Simple test can be used to diagnose Chlamydia using a sample of urine (pee). Chlamydia is an infection caused by bacteria and can be easily treated with antibiotics.
Viral STIs such as HIV, Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Hepatitis and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) cannot be cured. But they symptoms can be treated and managed effectively.
STI or GUM clinic
People who are worried they may have an STI can get a free and confidential check up at their local STI or GUM clinic. If left untreated STIs can lead to more serious health problems so it is very important to speak to an health professional. People should not feel embarrassed about this,
Protecting against STIs
Using condoms both external and internal can reduce the chance of catching an STI.