There are huge numbers of words which can be confusing - first, the interchangeable title of this subject:
STD - Sexually Transmitted Disease
STI - Sexually Transmitted Infections
GUM - Genito-Urinary Medicine
Then there are quite a few slang terms for the conditions themselves- clam, the clap, crabs, Hi-Five (HIV), cold sore, the pox and many more…
Sexual health services comprise both sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment and contraception services.
Our surgery provides the full range of contraceptive services.
Here is some general information about NHS Sexual Health Services
Sexual Health services for Brent - including STI and HIV testing and care - are available locally:
Any concerns about symptoms which could be an STD?
You need to visit an STD clinic if:
What is safer sex?
'Having sex with less chance of catching or passing on a potentially life-changing sexually transmitted infection'.
STDs are passed on in different ways in different circumstances between different people and it is important to be aware of how to reduce the risks.
How do I make sex safer?
You can reduce the risk of all infections by:
(from British Association for Sexual Health)
Do condoms work?
Yes - for heterosexual (straight) couples and men who have sex with men (MSM), using condoms every time you have sex reduces the transmission of HIV and other STIs.
Condoms are thought to be almost 100% effective in preventing HIV transmission if used perfectly all of the time. In real life most people do not use condoms perfectly, or for every type of sex, so protection may be less than this.
Condoms also reduce the risk of catching or passing on chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes, warts and syphilis.
Whilst they do help, no method is perfect, so using a condom cannot guarantee that you will not catch an STI.