Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually transmitted infections or STIs are infections that can be passed from person to person during sex.

STIs can be passed on through different forms of sexual contact, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex. You may have symptoms, but STIs can be asymptomatic, which means you won’t know you have one without testing. 

Preventing sexually transmitted infections 

Safe sex keeps your and your partner safe from STIs. This includes:


  • Using condoms
  • Getting regular testing (GP or nearest sexual health clinic
  • Communicating with partners around sexual history & symptoms


There is a lot of stigma around STIs, however, they are a normal part of being sexually active and can be treated and managed.

Do you have a new sexual partner? It’s a good idea to ask them when their last STI check was.

Accessing condoms:

You can sign up to the C:Card scheme to receive condoms in discreet packaging. 

You can get free condoms by post, from most GPs & sexual health services, and from these locations 

You can get free condoms by post from Waverley Care.

If you don’t see your area listed, a quick google search should help you find out where you can access free condoms in your area.


It’s important to visit a sexual health clinic  if you have any symptoms. This can include:


  • An unusual discharge from the vagina, penis or anus
  • Pain when peeing
  • Lumps or skin growths around the genitals or bottom (anus)
  • A rash
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • Itchy genitals or anus
  • Blisters and sores around your genitals or anus
  • Warts around your genitals or anus
  • Warts in your mouth or throat

There is more information available on the NHS website.

If you think you might have an STI you can visit your doctor or your nearest sexual health clinic  (sometimes called a GUM Clinic). You can also receive testing kits for some STIs by post.

You can learn more on the NHS website about what happens when you go for an STI test, including what you might be asked about, and their confidentiality policy.

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