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What are STI's?

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI's)

What are they?

An STI is a sexually transmitted infection that is passed on through sexual contact.

Anyone who has unprotected sex puts themselves at risk of catching an STI. Even if it is the first time you have sex.

Most STI's can be treated – a visit to a sexual health clinic will soon help to get you checked out – it's free, confidential and non–judgemental.

Male and female condoms and dental dams can protect against many STI's.

There are always risks when you have sex, but you can make sure the sex you have is safer by using a condom every time.

What is a bacterial infection?

A bacterial infection can be treated with antibiotics and may not come back again, unless you are exposed to the infection again. (Chlamydia for example)

What is a virus?

A virus is a micro – organism that, once infected, it stays in your body forever. The infection can be treated and will go away, but it can come back at any time throughout your life. (Genital Herpes for example)

Who can catch an STI?

Anyone who has sex with an infected person can catch a Sexually Transmitted Infection. It doesn't mean anything about their character or lifestyle choice, as someone can catch an STI the first time they have sex. A lot of the time, there are not any symptoms so people can't tell if they have caught an STI. Therefore, regular testing is recommended, either with every new partner or every 6/12 months if you're in a relationship.


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