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If you’re sexually active or thinking of having sex, do yourself a favour and avoid many STI’s by always practising safer sex by using some form of contraception.

Male and female condoms can protect against many STI’s. This section is designed to be used for some fast information but if you want more info… visit some sexual health websites or search on Google.

What are STI's?

An STI is an infection passed on through sexual contact. Infections can cause ill health, which can have long-term physical and psychological health consequences if not treated.

Who Catches STI's?

Anyone who has sex can have an STI. It doesn’t just happen to ‘bad’ people and people who sleep around – it can happen to anyone even if they only have sex once.

Think You've Got an STI?

What should I do if I think I might have an STI, or if I want to get checked? Make an appointment at one of the GUM Clinics which are based at Halton Hospital and St Helens Hospital.


It is estimated that 1 in every 10 sexually active young people have Chlamydia, and many don’t even know it. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection and it is the most common STI in young people.

Genital Herpes

These are small painful blisters around the genitals. It is caused by the Herpes Simplex virus. (Herpes simplex is a cold sore usually around the mouth). This doesn’t mean that people who suffer with cold sores have an STI.

Genital Warts

Genital warts is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus If you’ve seen warts on hands or feet they look similar; small fleshy lumps around the genitals.


Once known as ‘the clap’, gonorrhoea is a disease caused by bacteria. If it’s not treated, it can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, infertility and other serious problems.


Hepatitis means ‘liver inflammation’. It is caused by a virus, and although there are several kinds of hepatitis virus, Hep A and B are the most common.

HIV & Aids

HIV is a sexually transmitted virus that attacks the body’s immune system, which provides a barrier to disease and infection. HIV infects special cells found in your blood that fight against infection.

Living with HIV

Being HIV positive can often make you feel that it's just too difficult, or impossible to have a sex life or intimate relationship with someone.

Pubic Lice

Also known as crabs, pubic lice are small insects/bugs. People may know them as head lice – only they live in your public hair around your genitals.


It’s an infection caused by bacteria. If it’s not treated, it can be very serious… leading to heart disease, brain damage, blindness and even death.

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