Sexually transmitted infections
What is a sexually transmitted infection (STI)?
An STI is a sexually transmitted infection, including Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and many more.
What is a sexually transmitted disease (STD)?
An STD is a sexually transmitted disease, including HIV and many more.
Sometimes STIs and STDs mean the same thing. Sexually acquired infections or diseases are now commonly termed as STIs and STDs.
You can find out more about HIV.
If I have unprotected sex, will I get an STI or STD?
If you have had unprotected sex it is extremely important to get tested immediately. You could be at risk of an STI or STD, so it is important you get tested and treated. You can find your nearest confidential sexual health clinic on the Sexual health and contraception page.
What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) which means that you get it through having unprotected sex (sex without a condom) with someone who already has Chlamydia. You can get more information on how to get tested on the Chlamydia Screening Programme| website including what to tell partners, or telephone 01422 261370.
If you are under 25 years, then you can also order a free postal testing kit from the website.
How can I get Chlamydia?
You can get Chlamydia through:
- unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex
- your genitals coming into contact with your partner's genitals
- sharing sex toys when they are not washed or covered with a new condom between each person who uses them.
If any of the above apply to you, please find your nearest sexual health clinic to get tested. Tests are done with a simple urine sample. If you are pregnant it is especially important to get tested as you can pass Chlamydia onto your baby. For more information or a free postal testing kit (if under 25 years), visit the Chlamydia Screening Programme| website or call them on 01422 261370.
What is Gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that used to be known as 'the clap'.
You can get Gonorrhoea through:
- unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex
- sharing vibrators or other sex toys that haven't been washed or covered with a new condom each time they are used.
If any of the above apply to you, then find your nearest sexual health clinic to get tested.
Where can I get condoms from?
You can purchase condoms from pharmacies, supermarkets and your school nurse. For confidential advice before you buy condoms, read this guide: condoms|.
You can find out more information on STIs and STDs on the NHS website: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)|.
You can also find other organisations who help people with HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections and diseases in the Social care and wellbeing hub.