We have intentionally not provided details for the symptoms of HIV. The symptoms of HIV are very similar to infections such as tonsillitis, chest infections, common colds etc. If you have these symptoms it is much more likely you have one of these infections than HIV. Anxiety is powerful emotion. If you are worried, the best thing to do is to get the required tests done through Anytime Doctor or within the NHS.
General Information on STDs/STIs
Why are STDs/STIs increasing so rapidly?
We are currently in the grip of an UK epidemic of STDs, new cases of herpes, chlamydia, syphilis, HIV and gonorrhoea are at record levels.
There were 621,300 diagnoses of STDs in 2006, up 70% percent on 1997, of which 376,508 were new infections (Health Protection Agency). NHS GUM clinics cannot cope, there were over 1.8million attendances at NHS GUM clinics in 2006 an increase of 350 percent from 1997 (400,000 attendances).
The Government's Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV is calling for urgent action to tackle this epidemic.
A number of reasons have been put forward as to why STDs are increasing so rapidly:
|1||Age of first intercourse is decreasing. A 30 year old woman has now potentially been sexually active for 15 years.|
|2||The proportion of men and women who have concurrent relationships (having more than one sexual partner) has increased.|
|3||The proportion of the population who reported two or more partners in the past year and who did not use condoms consistently has increased since 1990 from 13.6% to 15.4% for men and from 7.1% to 10% for women.|
|4||The proportion of men in the United Kingdom who have ever had a homosexual partner in the last five years increased between 1990 and 2000. Unsafe sex in homosexual men has increased, particularly in London.|
|5||Populations are now more mobile nationally and internationally. Certain groups (tourists and professionals business travellers) are at risk. They are separated from their families and social restraints and are more likely to have sexual contact outside a stable relationship.|
The following symptoms could indicate a STD. However, some infections, while still spreadable, may have no symptoms:
ŉ an unusual vaginal discharge in women
Anyone who is having sex can pick up a STD. Whether you are young or old, straight or gay, do it once in a while or all night every night, unprotected sex will put you at risk of getting a STD so it makes sense to make your sex safer.
Safer sex is any sex that does not allow an infected person's blood, semen, pre-ejaculatory fluid (precum) or fluid from the vagina to get inside the other person's body.
Use a condom every time you have sex. Only condoms provide 'all-in-one' protection against unintended pregnancy and most STDs, including HIV.
It seems obvious, but the more sexual partners you have the more chance you have of getting an STD - so be careful who you sleep with.
Just because you've been with someone for a while, don't stop using a condom until you've both had a check-up. Some of the most common STDs have no noticeable symptoms. Don't forget to use another form of contraception to avoid unplanned pregnancies.
Always carry condoms with you when you go out, not just when you are going to a party or a club. Sex isn't something you always plan in advance.
For more information on sexual health (including HIV), call the Sexual Health Line free (from the UK) on 0800 567 123, textphone (for people with hearing impairments) 0800 521 361.
Specific Information on common STDs/STIs
Genital Herpes in pregnancy
HIV & AIDS
Non-specific urethritis (NSU)
Pelvic inflammatory disease – PID
Ureaplasma & Mycoplasma
Viral Hepatitis - Type A
Viral Hepatitis - Type B
Viral Hepatitis - Type C