A recent survey by Stonewall revealed that one in four gay or bisexual men has never had a test for sexually transmitted infections. This is particularly concerning as many infections have no symptoms for a long time. The best way to be confident about your health is to regularly get tested. Here are some ways you can also protect yourself during sex:
- Ensure you wash your hands after sex and ideally your buttocks, penis and groin area too.
- Always use a fresh condom when changing between anal and oral sex.
- If engaging in ‘rimming’, use a barrier such as cut up condom.
- Don’t share sex toys
- Find out about the hepatitis A vaccine at a sexual health clinic.
Hepatitis B & C
Men who have sex with men are at risk of hepatitis B, but they can be protected by the hepatitis B vaccination available from sexual health clinics. Hepatitis C is also spread through contact with blood and bodily fluids.
A bacterial infection which can cause painful urination and swollen testicles. It can be spread through oral, anal and vaginal sex with an infected person. If treated with antibiotics there aren’t normally complications but if left undiagnosed and untreated, long-term health problems can be severe.
Another bacterial infection affecting the rectum, throat or urethra. Chlamydia is often symptom-free which makes it difficult to know there’s a problem. It is spread the same way as gonorrhoea and treated with antibiotics. For peace of mind, think about using Chlamydia Testing kits London. You can find Chlamydia Testing kits London available online at greenwichsexualhealth
An unpleasant intestinal bacterial infection causing extreme upset, diarrhoea and cramping. It can easily be confused with a stomach bug or food poisoning. It is contracted by engaging in ‘rimming’ and giving oral sex after anal sex. It’s an easily caught infection, with only a minute amount of infected of faeces needed to get into your mouth. Someone with Shigella can be infectious for up to a month.
Ensure you wash hands after sex, including your penis, groin and buttocks. Always change condoms between having anal and then oral sex. Never share sex toys or anything used in douching. If you want to engage in fingering, then use latex or non-latex gloves.
This is another bacterial infection resulting in an ulcer which usually appears on the genitals. The ulcer will clear up, but other symptoms include swollen glands and a rash. It is highly infectious and passed on by close skin to skin contact. If it’s left untreated, it can cause major problems for the brain and other parts of the body.
Also known as crabs, these are tiny, parasitic insects that live in body hair and are the most common form of STI. These particular lice prefer pubic hair such as around the anus and testicles but can live in chest hair too (not head hair). They cause intense itching and can be caught from having sex, sharing towels and even from bedding. Treatment can be obtained from a chemist, with no prescription necessary.