INFORMATION AND DEFINITIONS
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Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
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Brief STI Info

SYPHILIS

Syphilis is a bacterial infection that can be very dangerous if left untreated.

Mode of transmission

Syphilis is primarily transmitted via contact with an infected sore or chancre. This can happen through unprotected oral, anal, or vaginal sex with an infected person.

Symptoms

Painless ulcers on or around the genitals, blotchy rashes on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet, swollen glands, hair loss and rash.

Treatment

Antibiotics

Precautions

No sexual contactuntil completion of treatment. Also, sexual partners should get tested and treated if found positive.

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CHLAMYDIA

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection attacking the inside linings of genitals. If left untreated complications can includeinfertility in both men and women. It is the most common STI in the UK.

Mode of transmission

Any sexual contact with an infected person, including but not limited to. Unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex with an infected person.

Symptoms

In men

Discharge from penis, pain while passing urine but no symptoms are also common.

In women

Usually no symptoms, but sometimes there could be painful sexual intercourse, abdominal pain, change in menstrual cycle.

Treatment

Antibiotics

Precaution/Prevention

Practice abstinence until treatment is completed. All sexual partnersshould be treated. Practice safe sex after treatment is completed.

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GONORRHOEA

A bacterial infection which usually affects thegenital region, anus or throat. It can also be contracted in the rectum, throat or eyes.

Mode of transmission

Sexual contact including but not limited to unprotected sex with an infected person, sharing of dirty sex toys.

Symptoms

Symptoms include an unusual discharge from the vagina or penis, a burning sensation when passing urine, pain in the abdomen or testicles and irregular bleeding between periods/unusually heavy periods.

Treatment

Antibiotics – commonly an injection

Prevention

All partners should be tested and if positive, treated. Abstinence should be practised until treatment is complete. Condoms should be used during intercourse for a minimum of 7 days after complete treatment.

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GENITAL HERPES

Genital Herpes is a viral disease caused by Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), causing a skin infection on the genitals, mouth and lips (cold sores)

Mode of transmission

Close skin contact with an infected person’s sore

Symptoms

Painful sores, discharge and flu-like symptoms.

Treatment

There is no permanent cure for herpes. Anti-viraldrugs and pain relief will help to suppress the virus.

Prevention

Abstain from intercourse when sores are present. Practice safe sex by using condoms.

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NON SPECIFIC URETHRITIS

Urethra inflammation caused by infection

How you can get it

Caused by chlamydia ornon specific bacteria, virus or other organisms.

Symptoms

Usually none in women and men, but sometimes there is discharge from the penis in men, and pain while urinating

Treatment

Antibiotics

Precautions

Sexual partners should be examined and treated.

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TRICHOMONIASIS

Trichomonas vaginalis is the parasite responsible for this infection, which causes irritation in the vagina orpenis.

Mode of transmission

Unprotected sex with an infected person

Symptoms

None for men, but coloured discharge from the vagina in women.

Treatment

Antibiotics and vaginal pessaries

Precaution

Abstinence until 7 days after starting the treatment.

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GENITAL WARTS

A viral infection (flat or fleshy lumps) caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

Mode of transmission

Skin to skin contact, and during an unprotected sexual act. Also can transferred from mother to baby.

Symptoms

Bumps or warts around genitals, anus and thighs

Treatment

Removal of visible warts through treatment. There is no cure for an HPV infection, however vaccinations are available to develop immunity prior to infection.

Precaution

Practice safe sex, use condoms especially, but this does not guarantee complete protection. There are vaccinations available for prevention of HPV.

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HIV

Viral disease caused by the Human Immune – deficiency Virus, that attacks the white blood cells and damages the immune system.

Mode of transmission

Unprotected sex with an infected person, unscreened blood transfusion, sharing sharp instruments, and from mother to baby.

Symptoms

No visible symptoms for years, the breakdown of the immune system and exposure to secondary infections.

Treatment

No cure available, secondary infections can be treated. Constant medication is available for suppressing the virus. HIV treatment has moved on significantly and a positive diagnosis can be managed so there are no long term, ongoing health problems.

Precaution

Practice safe sex. Do not share sharp instruments.

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HEPATITIS A

Viral infection affecting the liver

Mode of transmission:

Contamination of food and water. Improper hygiene. Unprotected sexual act with an infected person.

Symptoms

Flu-like symptoms, including vomiting, abdominal pain and dark urine.

Treatment

Immunisation, proper hygiene and diet. Avoid drugs and alcohol.

Precautions

Abstain from sex until fully recovered.

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HEPATITIS B

Viral infection affecting the liver

Mode of transmission

Through oral, unprotected anal, or vaginal sex with an infected person. Sharing sharp instruments. Unscreened blood transfusion.

Symptoms

Flu-like symptoms, vomiting, abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin, dark urine etc.

Treatment

Avoid alcohol and drugs. Rest, exercise and use prescribed medication

Precautions

Always use a condom during sex.

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HEPATITIS C

Viral infection affecting the liver

Mode of transmission

Contact with infected blood, sexual intercourse with an infected person, sharing sharp instruments.

Symptoms

Flu-like symptoms, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine.

Treatment

Rest, sleep, exercise and prescribed medication. Avoid alcohol and drugs.

Precautions

Practice safe sex. Do not share sharp instruments.

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