Sexually Transmitted Infections, or STIs, are infections that are spread through unprotected sex.
Signs of an STI might include:
- unusual bleeding from the vagina
- unusual discharge or smell coming from the vagina
- sore lumps, rash or itching around the anus or vagina
- feeling uncomfortable or sore when you pee
- discomfort during sexual intercourse which you haven’t felt before
- for males, discharge from penis
If you have any of these problems, see your doctor or contact the Medical Services Pacific team as soon as possible for a medical checkup.
You may not see an STI or feel ill but you could still be infected.
Visit your doctor or nurse if you think you have an STI
STIs spread very quickly and it is wise to see a doctor or nurse immediately for treatment. In the mean time, it is best to stop having sex until you and your partner are treated. If you had sex after contracting the STI, advise your partner to see the doctor as well. It can be very embarrassing to talk about this with your partner, but it is important that they are aware so they can seek treatment.
Sometimes there are no symptoms, so you or your partner might not know that you have an STI. Luckily, there are tests available that can tell you if you have one. You can get tested at your closest health centre, STI Hub or at Medical Services Pacific for free.
Cold Sores: Very common. Caused by Herpes Simplex Virus. Passed on contact (e.g. kissing). Highly contagious small blisters. Sores go away after 7 days but return again when body is stressed. Treated by cream and L-Lysene tabs found at the pharmacy.
How an STI can affect your lovelife
STIs aren’t just about infections of your private parts. Some STIs, if left untreated, can lead to you not being able to have babies (infertility). Others can increase your chances of getting cervical cancer. It is therefore very important that you seek medical advice as soon as possible if you think you have an STI.
Cold Sores: Very common.
Caused by Herpes Simplex Virus. Passed on contact (e.g. kissing). Highly contagious small blisters. Sores go away after 7 days but return again when body is stressed. Treated by cream and L-Lysene tabs found at the pharmacy
Some common STIs: Gonorrhoea (tona), Syphilis, Genital Herpes, Genital Warts, HIV, Hepatitis, Trichomoniasis, Chlamydia.
Protect yourself from cervical cancer
HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a commonly transmitted STI.There are many types of HPV, and some types can cause health problems such types can cause health problems such as gentical warts and even cancer. Luckily, there is a free vaccine available from health canters and hospitals in Fiji that can protect you from contracting HPV. The Ministry of Health recommends that all boys and girls ages 11 or 12 get vacinated up until the age of 26. Ask your parents, doctor or nurse if you unsure if you have been vaccinated.
To avoid getting HPV,
use a condom.
every time you have sex.
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