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A Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) is a disease or infection that is contracted through unprotected sexual activity. Although overlooked by many, STI’s can be dangerous, sometimes fatal, and will increase your risk of contracting HIV. Early detection of an STI ensures that it is less fatal and more easily treatable.

How are STIs transmitted?

STI’s are transmitted through unprotected penetrative sex, oral sex and rubbing of genitals.

How are STIs diagnosed?

STI’s are diagnosed by testing blood and/or urine samples, or conducting smears and rapid tests.

How are STIs treated/managed?

Effective management of STIs is one of the cornerstones of STI control, as it prevents the development of complications and decreases the spread of those infections in the community and offers a unique opportunity for targeted education about HIV prevention.

On first contact a client may experience the following:

  • General history and sexual history taking;
  • Clinical examination, which may include the performance of a urine test, rapid finger prick test, and/or taking of blood sample or smear;
  • Diagnosing of a particular STI;
  • Early and effective treatment;
  • Health education and prevention regarding sexual health;
  • Establishment of a risk reduction plan;
  • Partner identification (clients partner should be treated as well);
  • Provision of “Play Safe” pack (including condoms, lubrication, and messaging).

How are STIs prevented?

  • Abstinence;
  • Being faithful;
  • Condomise and use Dental Dam for oral sex;
  • Telling your partner if you have a STI;
  • Don’t have sex if you or your partner are being treated for an STI;
  • Look for signs and symptoms in your partner and yourself;
  • Wash your genitals with soap and water before and after sex, urinate soon after you have sex. This may help clean away some germs before they have a chance to infect you;
  • Regular check-ups (1-2 times per year);
  • Correct and consistent condom use.

What are the different types of STIs?