Testing for STIs
If you're worried or think you've got an STI, go for a check-up at a sexual health clinic as soon as you can. Services for testing for STIs are free and confidential, and tests are available in a variety of settings and many services offer tests outside normal working hours and at weekends. Some services are walk-in, others may require an appointment.
Do not have sex - including oral sex - without using a condom, or other form of protection, until you've had a check-up. You can have an STI without knowing it and infect your partner during sex.
Testing regularly for sexually transmitted infections means that you can treat any infections you do have and avoid passing them on to other people. Some STIs will make you more ill the longer you have them, so testing often means you are protecting your health.
You can find support for STI testing across Manchester on the George House Trust website.
You can find out more about some of the most commonly transmitted STIs below, including the signs to look out for, and what having one of these STIs might mean for you and anyone you've had sex with.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common infection of the vagina. It’s harmless and easily treated with antibiotics.
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection. It is the most common STI in the UK and is easily passed on during unprotected sex.
Genital Herpes is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). It can be passed on from one person to another through penetrative sex –oral, vaginal and anal - as well as skin-to-skin contact. HSV is a long- term condition which can be treated but not cured.
Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and are small fleshy bumps, or skin changes that appear on and around the genital or the anal area. Warts can be treated; however, there is no cure for this condition and new warts can appear from time to time.
Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria. Gonorrhoea can be found in semen or vaginal fluids and can infect the urethra (wee tube), cervix, rectum (bum hole) and in rarer cases the throat. Gonorrhoea is the second most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK after chlamydia and most people affected by Gonorrhoea are under 25 (but it can affect people of all ages). Sometimes people call Gonorrhoea ‘the clap’.
Hepatitis is a virus that causes liver damage by infecting liver cells and causing inflammation. There are several different types of Hepatitis, the most common are Hepatitis A, B and C. Hepatitis B and C can lead to lead to chronic liver infection, with hepatitis C being the most common cause of liver disease in the UK.
Urethritis is inflammation of the urethra (the tube that caries urine from the bladder). This can happened for a number of reasons including irritation (such as a reaction to soap) or as a result of an infection. Doctors use the term non-specific when there is no obvious cause.
Public lice are very small, crab like insects which live in pubic hair.
Pubic Lice are not necessarily sexually transmitted, but are passed on through close body contact.
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