Your sexual health is important and we believe that being informed is a great first step to taking control of your wellbeing. Check out the following information about sexual health that is useful to know.
STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are infections transmitted through close body contact, including anal, vaginal and oral sex or touching your partner's penis, anus or vagina.STIs can be viruses (HIV, genital and anal herpes, genital and anal warts, hepatitis A, B, C), bacteria (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, LGV syphilis, shigella), fungi (thrush), or parasites (crabs, scabies).
Having an STI increases the risk of getting or passing on the HIV infection.
Many STIs have minor or no symptoms, so you may have an STI and not know about it.
Signs that you may have an STI include:
Testing is the only way to find if you have an STI. If you are having sex with casual partners, it is a good idea to get tested at least once a year. Men having sex with several partners should get tested every 3 to 6 months.
If you are in a new relationship, even a monogamous one, you should get tested as you may have an STI from a previous partner.
For more information on STIs and testing, see The Drama Downunder.
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is a HIV Prevention regime that combines quarterly testing with a daily anti-retroviral medication, this regime is shown to be able to reduce the chances of getting HIV by upwards of 99%. Read more in our PrEP section.
Post-Exposure Prophylaxis is a highly effective treatment that can potentially prevent HIV after exposure, but must be started within 72 Hours. Read our PEP section for more.
Condoms and lubricant are both highly effective members of the sexual health toolkit and SAMESH provides them free of cost to people of high risk groups, get in contact if you want to know more.