Sample Needed: finger prick blood sample & urine sample
HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) is a serious viral infection that is spread through body fluids, including through sexual intercourse, and this includes vaginal, anal and sometimes oral sex. HIV can also be spread by needle stick contamination, by sharing needles, receiving surgical treatment in foreign countries (where sterilization of equipment may not meet the standards of developed countries) and sometimes it can be passed from the mother to a child during the birth process or through breast feeding.
HIV is found in the bodily fluids of an infected person which includes semen, vaginal and anal fluids, blood and breast milk. HIV cannot be transmitted through sweat or urine. It thrives inside a persons body, however does not survive long outside the body.
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the UK, accounting for almost half of all STI diagnoses in 2014 according to Public Health England figures. It is usually associated with people under 25, making age a risk factor, however it can be caught by anyone. It can be treated and will cause no problems if caught early. However, if left untreated it can have an effect on your health.
Chlamydia is an infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, which is usually spread through sexual contact. This is a bacterium which infects cells in the cervix, urethra, rectum and sometimes the eyes or throat.
Hepatitis B is a contamination of the liver brought about by the hepatitis B infection. It is extremely infectious (100 times more infectious than HIV) and is easily transmitted through unprotected sex or by sharing needles to inject drugs.
A great many people who contract hepatitis B don’t have side effects. In the event that side effects do occur they can be seen one to six months subsequent to coming into contact with the infection. The disease can continue for a long time and quietly cause extreme liver damage, including cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer.
Syphilis is caused by bacteria known as Treponema pallidum that can be passed on during sex.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection brought about by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is the second most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the UK.
Gonorrhea is easily treated. In any case, if left untreated in women, gonorrhea can spread to other reproductive organs (the womb and the fallopian tubes), causing long-term pain, blocked tubes, infertility and ectopic pregnancy (this is when a pregnancy develops in the fallopian tube rather than in the womb). If untreated in men, gonorrhea can cause a painful infection in the testicles and prostate gland.