HIV / STI screening

Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections

Early detection can help to successfully treat STIs

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or venereal diseases (VD), are infections that can be passed through sexual activity and sometimes during childbirth.

When STIs are tested for early, you can prevent many of the negative outcomes of STIs, including infertility in both men and women. Testing, as well as treatment, is important for sexually active people and for pregnant women.

There are many different types of STIs. Some of these have symptoms, while others don’t. Some symptoms may take longer to appear. If you have an STI but have no symptoms, you could still pass the STI on to other sexual partners.

According to the Centre for Diseases and Control (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), some vaccinations may also decrease the risk of certain infections including hepatitis B and some types of HPV. Safer sex practices such as use of condoms, having a smaller number of sexual partners, and being in a relationship where each person only has sex with the other also decreases the risk.

Circumcision in males may be effective to prevent some infections. Most STIs are treatable or curable. Of the most common infections, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis are curable, while herpes, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, and HPV are treatable but not curable. Resistance to certain antibiotics is developing among some organisms such as gonorrhea.

In 2015, about 1.1 billion people had STIs other than HIV. About 500 million were infected with either syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia or trichomoniasis. At least an additional 530 million people have genital herpes and 290 million women have human papillomavirus. STIs other than HIV resulted in 108,000 deaths in 2015.

Most Common Types of STIs

1. Human papillomavirus infection

  • An infection that causes warts in various parts of the body, depending on the strain.

2. Genital herpes

  • A common sexually transmitted infection marked by genital pain and sores.

3. Chlamydia

  • A common, sexually transmitted infection that may not cause symptoms.

4. Gonorrhea

  • A sexually transmitted bacterial infection that, if untreated, may cause infertility.

5. HIV/AIDS

  • HIV causes AIDS and interferes with the body's ability to fight infections.

6. Syphilis

  • A bacterial infection usually spread by sexual contact that starts as a painless sore.

Symptoms

Many people don't notice symptoms when they have an STI.

Left untreated, STIs can affect your health. If you have any of the symptoms listed below, we recommend getting tested as soon as possible.

In women and men: 

  • Pain when you pass urine (pee) 
  • Itching, burning or tingling around the genitals 
  • Blisters, sores, spots or lumps around the genitals or anus
  • Black powder or tiny white dots in your underwear – this could be droppings or eggs from pubic lice.

In women: 

  • Yellow or green vaginal discharge
  • Discharge that smells
  • Bleeding between periods or after sex
  • Pain during sex
  • Lower abdominal pain.

In men: 

  • Discharge from the penis
  • Irritation of the urethra (the tube urine comes out of).

These symptoms may also be because of other reproductive health issues, not just STIs. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best that you come for a consultation so we can help to identify and treat the problem.

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