A sexually transmitted infection (STI) is an infection that can pass to another person through vaginal, anal or oral sex.
Anyone who has sex can get an STI, you don’t need to have lots of sexual partners and both men and women can get and pass on STI’s. Most STI’s are easily treated but treatment should be started as soon as possible. However, some infections like HIV have no cure and treatment can be complicated. If left untreated many STI’s can be painful and uncomfortable or, at worst, can cause permanent damage to your health and fertility.
Many STI’s often have no symptoms so its important to get checked out if:
- You have had unprotected sex with a new partner recently
- You or your sexual partner have sex with other people without using a condom
- Your sexual partner has symptoms or has recently been diagnosed with an STI
The only way to protect yourself and your partner from a sexually transmitted infection is to use condoms or dams.
GUM services provide free and confidential advice and treatment for people who are worried about infections that can be passed on by sexual contact. Staff can also help you to tell your partner that they may have been exposed to an STI. It is suggested that anyone who is sexually active with more than one partner goes along for a sexual health check-up at least once every six months. If you notice any signs or symptoms that are unusual for you its best to go and get them checked out.
All sexual health services are confidential even if you’re under 16.
Is an appointment necessary?
For GUM services you can either make an appointment by popping in in person or by calling. You might be asked some questions to help staff assess how urgently you need to be seen and you might be asked for a contact number. If it’s urgent you might be given a same day appointment. Many services will also offer walk-in clinics. You can now expect GUM services to offer you an appointment to be seen within 48 hours of contacting the service.
Use the map of Hampshire to find GUM clinics local to you.
For more information about sexually transmitted infections visit: SEX.WORTH TALKING ABOUT
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