Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are transmitted during sexual intercourse (vaginal and anal intercourse) and oral sex.

STDs sometimes cause symptoms, but the majority of cases involve no symptoms whatsoever. This means you can pass an STD on to others without knowing it, or have sex with an infected person who does not know he or she is infected.

Using condoms during intercourse is an effective way of protecting yourself against STDs. Condoms can also be used during oral sex. When a woman is receiving oral sex, a split condom or an oral sex barrier (a dam) can be used for protection.

Afterwards, people usually regret not using a condom. They regret that they believed their partner when he or she said "of course I have nothing". They regret not carrying a condom in their wallet and not bothering to go to the kiosk to pick one up. They regret agreeing to have sex without a condom when their partner said "relax, we don't need it". They regret having sex with a woman who said she was on the pill and looked so nice she couldn't possibly carry an infection.

Even if you know you don't take any risks in your sexual behaviour, it is far more difficult knowing whether your partner does!

For men, condoms protect themselves against STDs but are also the only way to make sure you are using reliable contraception.

STD tests are performed on a urine sample (chlamydia and gonorrhoea) or on a blood sample (HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B). There is no simple test method for some STDs (herpes and genital warts). A viral culture of herpes blister material can be used to detect HSV, and genital warts are usually diagnosed on the basis of their typical appearance.

Remote testing for chlamydia and gonorrhoea infection free of charge

This article was written on 26 Nov. 2012 by SI

Key words: Sexually transmitted diseases