What are STIs

What are STIs?

An STI is a Sexually Transmissible Infection. These infections can be passed from person to person during sexual activity.
Sexual activity includes:

  • Kissing
  • Touching/ rubbing genitals
  • Oral sex
  • Intercourse
  • Using sex toys
Common signs or symptoms of STIs

Sexually transmissible infections (STIs) usually show signs or symptoms around the genitals.
Genitals are:

  • Penis
  • Testicles
  • Vagina
  • Vulva 
  • Anus/ bottom

These signs or symptoms can include:

  • Itching/ irritation in the genital area
  • Rash 
  • Unusual discharge from the penis, vagina or anus/ bottom
  • Burning when you pee
  • Sores, blisters, ulcers or breaks in the skin
  • Bumps/ lumps on the skin
  • Pain in the genitals or lower belly

Some STIs don’t have any symptoms, so you may have an STI without even knowing it. This can be a problem as you can pass the infection on to a sexual partner without knowing.
If the STI is not treated, you could also end up with long term health problems. Getting regular sexual health check ups is a good way to make sure you are treated for any STIs.

How urgent are my symptoms?

Common STIs
Some common STIs 

  • Chlamydia
  • Genital warts/ HPV
  • Herpes/ cold sores
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Syphilis
  • Hepatitis A,B and C
  • HIV

See Sexual Health Fact Sheets for more information about STIs and other sexual health conditions.