A sexually transmitted infection (STI) is any kind of bacterial or viral infection that can be passed on through unprotected sexual contact. Anyone can get an STI, but don’t panic, most infections are easily treated, and getting tested is free and confidential.
- The majority of STIs can be treated with medication.
- STIs that cannot be cured can be managed.
- The sooner STIs are treated, the less long term damage will be done.
- It’s possible to have more than one type of STI at once.
- Not all STIs have symptoms – if you’ve had unprotected sex then you’re at risk.
- You can get STIs from all types of sexual act (including oral and using toys).
If you're worried because you think you've got an STI, go for a check-up at your nearest clinic as soon as you can.
Do not have sex, including oral sex, without using a condom until you've had a check-up.
You can have an STI without knowing it and infect your partner during sex.
Your Guide to STIs
BHA for Equality has produced 'Your Guide to STIs' for Black, Asian and Minoritized Communities, who are disproportionately affected by STIs. The guide is available in English, Urdu, Portuguese, and Farsi.