Sexually transmitted infections are mainly contracted through unprotected sex. You can catch an STI on your penis, vagina and anus, and some infections can be caught around the mouth and throat. Some STIs carry no symptoms, so if you have unprotected sex, you should think about getting checked out as soon as possible. Infections can carry risks to your health if left untreated so it is better to be safe than sorry.
Bacterial Infections include:
The bacteria can be treated and cured with antibiotics but if they are not caught early enough they can cause permanent damage to your body.
Viral Infections Include:
• Warts • Herpes
• Hepatitis B • HIV
All virus’ remain in your body, they can’t be
cured, but can be treated including HIV, the
virus that can lead to AIDS. If you feel you have
come into contact with the HIV virus, contact your local sexual health service immediately
Pubic lice (crabs) are caught through skin-to-skin contact and can be treated with a lotion.
There are many myths around how testing for STIs are carried out. Some young men are afraid to go for tests due to a myth that an ‘umbrella’ shaped device is inserted into the penis to collect cells for testing.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENS?
The procedure involves a small swab (thinner than an ear bud) that is inserted into the tip of the penis; it doesn’t go in very far and only takes a few second and won’t be too uncomfortable if you relax. The swab is then sent away for testing. You don’t have to have a swab for every STI. Two of the most common infections Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea can be tested by a urine sample.
You are provided with a pot and asked to supply a sample of your urine. The pot is usually given to you to take away to the toilet and hand back the same day, the sample is then taken to a lab for testing. If the result is positive, you will be contacted within two weeks and asked to go back for treatment. Some services give
you the choice of how you would like to be contacted- phone call, text or letter.
For more information on Chlamydia testing visit