Sexually transmitted infections (STI's) are infections that are passed on during sexual contact (such as having sex, oral sex, intimate body contact).
Anybody who has sexual contact with someone who already has an STI can catch an infection. STI's are usually passed on by having sex with an infected person, but there are other ways of becoming infected.
If you are worried that you might have an infection, the GUM clinic in St. Helens Hospital can provide free and confidential testing and treatment for all STI's. There's no need to make an appointment, so you can go at a time that suits you. At TAZ we can test your for some common infections including Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea, as well as HIV and Syphilis. Testing at TAZ is quick and simple, and you wont need to be examined. Just make sure you haven't had a wee for an hour or so before going for a test.
You can't always tell if someone has an infection, because some STI's don't have obvious symptoms. You can help to avoid catching an STI by using a condom every time you have sex. You can also help to reduce the risk of catching an infection by: · Having fewer sexual partners · Spending time getting to know your partner before having sex with them · Finding other ways of being intimate with your partner
There are many infections which can be caught by sexual contact with an infected person, such as:
The NHS has more information about STI's and other infections.