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.

In the following pages about different STI's, we refer to Male/Man/Men and Female/Woman/Women gender identity as cisgender. However, we do understand that some trans people may be uncomfortable with these terms as their gender identity and/or gender expression may not reflect cisgender terms. For further information on specific sexual health matters for both trans men or trans women, please follow the links here:

Trans men

Trans women

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 LGBT Foundation's 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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