6 STIs you need to know about

Current scientific advancements have allowed for more effective diagnosis and treatment when it comes to STIs, but early detection is still vital. Here are six STIs you should know about.

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1. Genital herpes

The HPV virus is responsible for genital herpes, with painful blisters generally arising a few days post-infection. These often disappear within 10 days, but can reappear when the immune system is weakened. There is no absolute cure, but anti-viral prescription medications can be effective in its management.

2. Genital warts

These are growths around the genital or sometimes anal region that can cause irritation. This second most common STI can be problematic to prevent – condoms are the best protection, but contact of skin around the genital area can transmit and pick up infections. Freezing (cryotherapy) and creams are the treatments available.

3. Chlamydia

With many experiencing no symptoms, it is perhaps unsurprising that chlamydia is the UK’s most prolific STI. If symptoms are noticed, they can include burning sensations during urination, testicular discomfort and penis discharge in males, and irregular periods, bleeding during or after intercourse and vaginal discharge in women. Untreated chlamydia can result in serious infections and even infertility over time. A urine test can diagnose the infection, which can be treated with antibiotics. For chlamydia testing kits in London, contact an organisation such as Greenwichsexualhealth for a chlamydia testing kit.

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4. Gonorrhoea

This is spread through intercourse and it is estimated that 10 per cent of men and 50 per cent of women experience no symptoms; however, some notice symptoms similar to chlamydia but more prominent. Detection is via a urine test or swab, with antibiotics for treatment.

5. HIV

HIV attacks healthy cells and weakens the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to serious infection and disease. This is often passed through unprotected sex and can result in flu-like symptoms. Despite there being no cure, newer treatments can be highly effective in reducing the virus to undetectable levels, enabling individuals to live normal lives.

6. Crabs

Also referred to as pubic lice, this STI can cause a lot of itchiness and discomfort. It is easy to transmit through body contact. Crabs can be found in hair, whether pubic or body hair, eyebrows or beards. Shampoo and cream treatments can be purchased over the counter.

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