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Sexually Transmitted Infections

Anybody (whether male, female, straight, gay, bisexual or lesbian, young or old), who has unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex is at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. Most Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are easily treated but treatment should be started as soon as possible. If left untreated many STIs can be painful and uncomfortable or, at worst, cause permanent damage to health and fertility.

There are more than 25 different STIs. Common ones include: ChlamydiaGenital WartsHerpesGonorrhoeaNSU (Non-specific Urethritis), SyphilisHIVHepatitis (B and C), and TV (Trichomonas vaginalis), Pubic Lice and Scabies.

Some infections that affect the genital area, such as Thrush (candidiasis) and Bacterial Vaginosis, can be spread through sex. However it is possible to get these without having sex – from wearing tight clothing round the genitals or from using perfumed body sprays and products on the genitals that destroy natural ‘healthy’ bacteria. Cystitis can be caused by sex, but it cannot be passed on to someone through sex.

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