What STIs could I catch if I have unprotected sex?
The most common STIs are:
- genital warts
- HIV (the virus that causes AIDS)
Chlamydia and genital warts are the 2 most common STIs in Jersey.
There are also around 44 people living with HIV in Jersey. However, there are likely to be another 15 or so who have HIV but are unaware that they are infected.
Marie Stopes International website
Terrence Higgins Trust website
What's the concern about STIs?
Chlamydia often causes no symptoms, which means an infected person can pass it on to someone else unknowingly.
If left untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility.
The virus that causes genital warts can also cause cervical cancer.
Syphilis can cause neurological and cardiovascular disease.
Herpes Viruses Association website
Where can I get tested?
Both men and women can get tested for STIs at the Genito Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinic. The clinic is a free and confidential service based in the General Hospital. The nurse or doctor at the clinic will take swabs (from women) or urine samples (from men) to test for most STIs. Blood samples are taken to test for HIV and hepatitis.
The Family Planning Service and Brook offer chlamydia screening for women. Brook test both men and women for chlamydia.
If you have had unprotected sex and are concerned that you may have an STI go to the GUM clinic.
How can I protect myself?
The best way to protect yourself against STIs is to use condoms - they are the only method of contraception that protect against most STIs. If you are having sex with a new partner, you should always use a condom every time you have sex (including oral and anal sex). Dental dams can also be used to protect against STIs during oral sex.
Condoms may not fully protect you against genital warts and herpes. These may be present around the genital area and can be passed on through skin to skin contact (where the condom does not cover).
If you and your partner have been using condoms and wish to stop, you should both get tested to check that neither of you have an STI before you stop using them.
Protecting yourself with condoms
Sexual Health - a guide to better sexual health factsheet