How Common Are STIs?

Sarah Mulindwa, a sex clinic nurse, tells us just how common STIs are and that they are a lot easier to pass on than we might think.

Sexually Transmitted Infections are on the increase, and yes, if you have unprotected sex then you can get one - it can even happen to someone like you.

You’ll be amazed just how easy it is to catch and pass on all types of STIs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis and HIV.

To find out what we can all do to stop their spread, Reed Amber and Florence Bark hooked up with Sarah Mulindwa, a sex clinic nurse, a real-life expert, who’s been helping people with their sexual health for over ten years.

What is the most common STI?

The most common STI, by miles, is chlamydia. It makes up 49% of all infections diagnosed in the UK.

It’s also one of the easiest STIs to pass on. Basically, you can catch chlamydia anywhere you have sex. Everywhere you can imagine, you can get chlamydia, in your vagina, in your rectum and in your throat. 

Can I still catch an STI if I only do oral?

Some people believe that if you just do oral then you can’t catch an STI. Sadly, that’s just not true. It’s why, typically, people don’t use a condom for oral sex.

If you really want to prevent chlamydia and gonorrhea in your throat, wear a condom during oral.

If you don’t like the taste of condoms, then use a flavoured condom – there are lots of flavours to choose from and try.

Are there any other types of protection?

We now have PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis).

It’s a course of drugs taken by HIV-negative people to protect them against HIV infection. PrEP is for people at high risk, especially those in the LBGTQ community.

The good news, there has been a massive reduction in HIV diagnosis. However, it has created a false sense of security, and because of this, people are taking more risks and other STIs are on the rise. 

Can I take any other drugs?

A course of antibiotics will sometimes be prescribed to help get rid of an STI. But, and it’s a big but, antibiotics aren’t as effective as they used to be. Eventually, these diseases will become resistant to antibiotics.

We are always finding new treatments and medicines, but if you really want to protect yourself, wear a condom. 

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Up next in the series with Sarah Mulwinda