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About sexually transmitted infections

You're not the first to get an STI

YOU'RE NOT THE FIRSTIf you ever thought that you were the first or only person to have had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) – think again; they have been around for thousands of years. Gonorrhoea was first mentioned in the Bible and the name of the disease was given by the second-century Greek physician Galen. The origin of syphilis is less clear but by the 16th Century it was making its way across Europe.

Anybody can get a STI from someone who already has one. The trouble is that STIs are usually passed on by someone who doesn’t know that they have an infection and so just asking your partner won’t protect you. The majority of STIs enter the body through tiny abrasions, sores or cuts in the body, many of which can be invisible to the eye. A few STIs only itch, some are painful, some are permanent and many can be serious if left untreated.

Effective prevention, protection and treatment will significantly reduce the likelihood of getting STIs or, if you do get them, will reduce or eliminate the harm they can cause.

Over recent decades, HIV has affected the lives of gay men everywhere and has changed the way we think about sexual health. Not only do we have a better understanding of our health needs, but many sexual health services have responded to the need for improvement. None of us really want to dwell on STIs, but being aware on what’s going on leaves you free to concentrate on having a good time.

Celebrating a century of sexual health care in the UK | British Association for Sexual Health and HIV | 8 Jun 2017 | 2m 43s

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