Sexually transmitted infections factsheet - Factsheets - FPA
What are the main sexually transmitted infections?
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Genital herpes in a common infection caused by HSV virus, which also causes cold sores. The symptoms can develop a few days after contact and include small, painful blisters which itch or tingle - and can make it difficult to urinate.
After the initial flare up, the virus will remain dormant most of the time - but it is still possible to infect others. Syphilis is bacterial infection which causes painless - but highly infectious - sores on the genitals and around the mouth. Symptoms for the second stage of syphilis include a rash, flu-like illness and patchy hair loss - which will last for a few weeks.
The infection can be treated with a course of antibiotics - which are normally taken for two to four weeks. Find your nearest clinic, and its opening hours, here. You are also advised to have yearly HIV tests if you have changed your sexual partner since your last test. People who have a high risk of infection - including homosexual men, people who inject drugs from needles, prostitutes, and people with HIV-infected sexual partners - should have a test every three to six months.
You can test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea with a urine or swap test. Herpes tests also use swabs. If you don't have a blister outbreak at the time, the test may come back negative - and you will need to get re-tested during your next flare up. The condition can be treated with antibiotics, usually penicillin injections.
When syphilis is treated properly, the later stages can be prevented. The HIV virus attacks and weakens the immune system, making it less able to fight infections and disease. There's no cure for HIV, but there are treatments that allow most people to live a long and otherwise healthy life. Most people with HIV look and feel healthy and have no symptoms. When you first develop HIV, you may experience a flu-like illness with a fever, sore throat or rash. This is called a seroconversion illness.
A simple blood test is usually used to test for an HIV infection. Read more about HIV. You may experience pain or burning after passing urine, a whitish discharge, or an inflamed foreskin. Trichomoniasis can sometimes be difficult to diagnose and your GP may suggest you go to a specialist clinic for a urine or swab test. The lice crawl from hair to hair but don't jump or fly from person to person.
It may take several weeks for you to notice any symptoms. You don't need to shave off your pubic hair or body hair. Clothes worn since the party, and bedding should be washed at 50 degrees or more, or placed in sealed plastic bags for at least a week to kill the lice. Scabies is caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin. It can be passed on through close body or sexual contact, or from infected clothing, bedding or towels. If you develop scabies, you may have intense itching that's worse at night.
The itching can be in your genital area, but it also often occurs between your fingers, on wrists and ankles, under your arms, or on your body and breasts. You may have a rash or tiny spots. It's usually very difficult to see the mites. The itching can sometimes continue for a short period, even after effective treatment. Read more about scabies. Sexually transmitted infections STIs. About sexually transmitted infections Sexually transmitted infections STIs are passed from one person to another through unprotected sex or genital contact.
Find your local sexual health clinic Search for your nearest sexual health clinic through Scotland's Service Directory. It's also possible to have a chlamydia infection in your rectum bottom , throat or eyes. Genital warts Genital warts are small fleshy growths, bumps or skin changes that appear on or around your genital or anal area.
It's also possible to have a gonorrhoea infection in your rectum, throat or eyes.