Think you have an STI?

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections which are generally picked up through close body contact or sex.  They are usually caused by:

STIs can have a wide variety of symptoms, but sometimes the symptoms are easy to miss or the infection may not have any symptoms at all.

So, if you’re having sex, it’s important that you have regular check ups at your local sexual health clinic (sometimes called GUM Clinics).  By regular, we mean once every six months or more often if you’re having sex with a lot of different people.

You can go to any sexual health clinic you want and you can make the appointment yourself, so you don’t need to see your GP first.  However, most clinics are very busy, so it might take a while for you to get booked in unless you have symptoms, or you may have to travel to a clinic further from your home.

Unfortunately, many people consider sex and STIs to be a moral issue – something that you should feel ashamed or guilty about and something that should never be spoken about.  As a result, a lot of us end up neglecting or avoiding our sexual health.

The problem is that if you don’t take care of your sexual health, it could have a disastrous affect on your whole life.  So remember, if you do pick up an STI, don’t feel embarrassed or dirty and don’t think you’re alone.  You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last person to get an STI.  Just get yourself treated as quickly as you can and if it’s possible, tell people that you’ve had sex with, so that they can get tested and treated (if necessary) too.

Sex EducationThis information is available in our Sex Education booklet.

Sex Education

Released/updated: 2011

Our guide to good sexual health for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

A favourite of the LGF team which has had several print incarnations. It is our most accessible sexual health resource and ideal for LGB people aged 16 upwards.

Download .pdf (0.6Mb)

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It is most common in areas like the throat, vagina, penis, urethra (the tube that runs down the penis) and the arse.

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Hepatitis

Hepatitis can be caused by different things including viruses, long-term alcohol abuse and the use of certain types of drugs.

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Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is the most common form of vaginal infection, being twice as common as thrush, for which it is often mistaken.

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Chlamydia

There are three areas of the body where Chlamydia usually happens – the bottom, throat, penis or vagina.

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Crabs

They have six legs and do actually look like crabs, hence the name.

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Giardia

Giardia is a parasite, a life form that lives off its host.

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Herpes

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Human Immunodeficiency Viru…

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus which weakens the immune system and leaves people open to unusual illnesses and cancers that wouldn&r...

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Lymphogranuloma Venereum (L…

LGV or Lymphogranuloma Venereum, is a particularly nasty form of Chlamydia. What makes it nasty is its ability to infect the lymph nodes in the bod...

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Molluscum

It can happen all over the body especially around the face, genitals and bottom.

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Non-Specific Urethritis

It’s one of the most common STIs in men.  The exact cause of it is not always known, which is why it’s called ‘non-specific&...

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Scabies

They are a bit like pubic lice except they have eight legs and are related to ticks and spiders.

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Syphilis

The condition used to be relatively common in the UK until the end of the Second World War. Then the widespread availability of antibiotics meant t...

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Thrush

However, it can sometimes be picked up whilst having sex, so we thought we’d include it anyway. The infection is caused by a fungus which liv...

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Trichonomas

Trichonomas is caused by a tiny parasite which lives in the vagina and urethra.

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Genital Warts

Warts can occur all over the body, especially on hands and feet, but there are some strains of HPV which only occur in the genital area and it&rsqu...

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