Last year many cases of Chlamydia or gonorrhoea were diagnosed in the UK. STIs are common and easily transmitted, particularly amongst the 15-24 age group. So if you spot anything unusual, what should you do?
Sometimes STIs will have symptoms, but at other times they will result in nothing obvious at all. So if you have had unprotected sex with a new partner, err on the side of caution and get tested. You can do this by going to a clinic, sending off for an online test or visiting your GP. The tests are very simple and usually just involve a urine test or swab. At a GUM clinic you can also opt to have a full screen, which will include an optional blood test if you want to check for HIV or Hepatitis.
You can get an STI test London wide quickly and easily via the method you prefer – the home-based screening tests are certainly convenient and accurate and allow you to test at a time that suits you.
Getting the Results
When you receive the results, either by post, by telephone call or through an appointment, make sure you follow through with the treatment if you have a positive test. Very often this will mean a course of antibiotics. Take the full course to ensure that your treatment is effective. Follow any advice that your doctor gives you and make sure you resolve to have safe sex in future. Find out more at checkurself.org.uk/plus/.
Telling Your Partner
It’s important that you tell anyone that you have had unprotected sex with that you have had a positive diagnosis for an STI so that they can be treated themselves. Yes, this can be embarrassing, but it’s vital that you don’t allow them to continue without the treatment that they need and risk damaging their health and spreading the STI onwards. Remember, common STIs can result in infertility and other complications if they are allowed to persist without treatment.
Many clinics offer a service that allows you to nominate the clinic to make a confidential contact with partners who may be exposed. The clinic will not give your name, but they will invite your partner in for a test and explain that they may have an STI.