I’d know if I had an STI, wouldn’t I?
No, not necessarily!
Luckily (or unluckily), those infected with STIs don’t develop flashing signs on their foreheads.
Actually, it’s hard to know who has an STI just by looking at someone – even if they’re naked.
That goes for ourselves as well.
Many people who are infected aren’t aware that they’re infected.
STIs are transmitted through sexual contact: vaginal, oral and anal. Most of them don’t have symptoms.
We carry them and pass them on unknowingly.
So how do we make our bed-hopping experiences safe?
We get tested!
Think of it like the dentist: rather than waiting until that molar is so painful that we can’t eat properly, we go regularly to see the dentist and check that everything is in order (if you don’t, this is two-fold advice to also sort those teeth check-ups!).
The good news is that testing is free and available for everyone.
So, let’s go! Find out where you can get tested and book yourself in.
Most STIs can be cured by taking antibiotics. It’s still better to catch them early on and prevent them from getting worse.
Feeling a bit anxious about visiting?
That’s very understandable, first time or not. It can feel strange to reveal such intimate parts of our bodies to other people.
Remember, it’s confidential and the staff are there to help you. It’s their job and they do this every day.
Brook answers some questions here to give you more of an idea of what to expect.
If you have a partner(s) and they’re also given the all clear, you’re good to go.
One more time: it’s free and available for everyone!
Be there or be square.