STI’s & Getting Tested

STI’s are passed on through unprotected vaginal, anal and oral sex with an infected partner. You can only protect yourself against STI’s by using condoms (correctly). Anyone can have an STI if they have had unprotected sex – it isn’t just the person you are sleeping with you need to think about but who they might have slept with unprotected before you. Not everyone displays symptoms of an STI so you can’t tell by looking at someone if they have one. If left untreated STI’s can lead to serious health complications in years to come e.g. untreated Chlamydia can cause infertility.

The easiest way to find out if you have an STI is to get tested – these tests are quick and mostly pain free. There are a wide range of places you can get tested so if you don’t want to go to your local GP you don’t have to. Most STI’s are also treatable. If you think about sexual health as part of your general health and well being then you would want that to be as healthy as any other part of your body and mind.

Below you can read more about specific STI's - the symptoms, treatment, getting tested and further information links.


Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed STI in England, with the number of confirmed cases increasing. Amongst 16-25 year olds the infection rate is roughly 1 in 10. The disease is difficult to detect without testing as many people do not have any symptoms. Without being tested and being unaware it can mean it is often left untreated and can lead onto health problems in the future.
Most symptoms stay undetected but for women some of you may notice-
  • A change in vaginal discharge
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Pain and/or bleeding during sex
  • Bleeding between periods of heavier bleeding
Men are more likely to notice the symptoms of Chlamydia
  • Cloudy or watery discharge at the end of the penis
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Pain in the testicles
In some rare cases Chlamydia can affect other areas than you genitals in both men and women, such as the eyes, throat and rectum. In the eyes Chlamydia can cause pain, swelling, irritation and discharge. Infection in the throat is very rare and does not usually cause any symptoms. Also if the infection is in the rectum it can cause discomfort and discharge.
If remained undiagnosed this can lead to serious health complications, including infertility. Chlamydia can be easily diagnosed through a urine sample and treated with a course of antibiotics.
To find out more go to the FPA website -

Getting tested

Free Chlamydia testing kits from the clinic on Thursdays 10-12 & 1-3 in the Welfare & Education Centre and in the Students’ Union toilets on Thursdays
Chlamydia testing kits are widely available across the city and from most GP’s
For more information on getting tested follow this link



Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause serious health implications if left undetected. The infection can be transmitted through unprotected vaginal, anal and oral sex.
Female symptoms
  • An unusual discharge that may be thick, green or yellow in colour
  • Pain when passing urine
Male symptoms
  • An unusual discharge from the tip of the penis which may be white, yellow or green in colour
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Inflammation of the foreskin
Early diagnosis of Gonorrhoea will reduce any risks of complications developing. The only way of knowing whether you have the infection is to be tested. This may include an examination and swab to   test for sexually transmitted disease, which can include urine samples.
To find out more go to the FPA website -

Getting tested

If you are under 25 then you can come along and see the Choices nurse on Thursdays 11.30am-2.30pm (term time)
If you are over 25 or want to go off campus then follow this link for more getting tested information



Genital Herpes is a chronic condition recurring four to five times in the first two years of being infected. For 80% of the time the disease can remain dormant causing you not to know that you are infected until there becomes an outbreak.
Genital Herpes are highly contagious and can be easily passed on by direct close contract. Transmission can occur through vaginal, anal and oral sex with an infected person.
Male and Female symptoms:
  • Painful red blisters that soon burst and leave ulcers. In time they dry out and heal.                           
  • Vaginal discharge for women
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Fever and a general feeling of being unwell
If you have been told you have Genital Herpes you may be offered medication to reduce the symptoms of the infection, although these are only effective within 72 hours of the start of the symptoms.
To find out more go to the FPA website –

Getting tested

If you feel you have Genital Herpes you should visit your local GUM clinic or a GP. A clinical examination of the area will be required and a swab will be taken from any visible sores. For more information about where to get tested follow this link.



Genital Warts are small fleshy growths that appear around the genitals and anal area. Transmission can occur without having penetrative sex and you can pass on the infection by skin to skin contact. This makes it difficult to be completely protected by condoms because of the skin around the genital area that is not covered by the condom can become infected.
Common places for the genital warts to develop for females
  • Around the opening of the vagina
  • Inside the vagina
  • Between the vagina and anus
  • On the cervix or the opening of the urethra
Common places for the genital warts to develop for males
  • On the shaft of the penis, usually below the foreskin or under the foreskin
  • Around the anus
  • Inside the urethra
  • Between the anus and the scrotum
The treatment that may be offered is a cream to be applied directly to the warts or through laser treatment.
To find out more go to the FPA website –

Getting tested

If you think you have Genital Warts you should visit your local GUM Clinic or local GP who through examination will be able to diagnose the infection. For more information about where to get tested follow this link.



Pubic Lice are small insects that live on coarse human body hair that cause itchy and red spots. Public lice are caught through close contract with someone who has them. This is usually through sexual contact; there is also not enough evidence to suggest that these can be transferred through bedding for example.
Male and Female symptoms
  • Itchy red spots, it can take up to three weeks for this to occur and it is usually worse at night
  • You may be able to see the live lice and eggs in your pubic hair, in your chest hair, armpit hair and facial hair for example
  • Dark powder on your underwear
One diagnosed the pubic lice can be treated with lotion or shampoo. Everyone that has had close contract with you needs to be treated. This will include your partner and also members of your household.
To find out more go to the FPA website –

Getting tested

The pubic lice can be detected through examination from either your GP or local GUM Clinic. For more information about where to get tested follow this link.



HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV prevents the bodies’ immune system from working properly by infecting key cells in the bodies’ natural defence system.
Although there is no cure for HIV it can be treated. This means that if you are infected with HIV you can live a long healthy life. There are several comprehensive support services available.
It stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. If HIV isn’t treated, the gradual weakening of the immune system leaves the body vulnerable to serious infections.
HIV is spread through the exchange of bodily fluids such as blood, semen and vaginal fluids. The most common way that HIV is spread it through sexual intercourse, including oral and anal with someone who is infected. You can also spread the virus through sharing needles and from mother to child, although advances in medicine can prevent HIV been passed from mother to child.
You cannot catch HIV through kissing, being sneezed on by someone who is infected, from sharing baths, towels or cutlery. Or even from a swimming pool or sitting on the same toilet seat.
Male and Female primary symptoms of HIV
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Tiredness
  • Joint pain and Muscle pain
  • Swollen glands
  • A blotch rash on the chest
HIV is difficult to diagnose from symptoms alone, which is why it is important to have a HIV test. A blood test is required to detect the presence of the virus. The test however can only detect the virus after three months after the initial contact.
To find out more go to the FPA website – You can also find lots of information on HIV on the Terrance Higgins Trust website -
Being HIV positive
If you have a positive HIV test you will be referred to a HIV specialist who will be able to help you with living with HIV. Being HIV positive means taking extra care of your own health, and also protect others as you can pass on the virus. LASS offers services for people who are living with HIV. The services are developed to offer support, guidance and care for those who are HIV positive. A list of the services they provide is at:
Leicestershire AIDS Support Service (LASS) offers confidential rapid HIV Testing – see their website for more details.

Getting tested

As well as LASS testing you can also follow this link to find out more about where to get tested.



Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is typically passed on through sexual contact.
There are three stages of symptoms which are the same for men and women
1.Occurs 10 days to 3 months after initial contact. The most common symptoms begin with painless but infectious sores on the genitals, anus and around the mouth, tongue and lips. The sores will last up to six weeks before disappearing. If syphilis is not treated it will be move on to the second stage of the symptoms.
2. A sore throat and skin rash will then develop. This may also include tiredness, headaches and swollen glands.  These symptoms may disappear after a few weeks and stay latent.
3.During this latent period syphilis will show no symptoms although you are still infected. Without treatment there is risk or serious complications. These may include stroke, dementia, deafness, skin rashes and heart disease for instance.
The first two stages of the infection can be treated through a dose of penicillin or antibiotics. The later stages need to be treated with three doses of penicillin, which are given at weekly intervals. You will need to tell your doctor if you are contraceptive methods like the pill due to the adverse affects the treatment may have on these.
To find out more go to the FPA website –

Getting tested

If you suspect that you have syphilis visit your local GUM Clinic or local GP. Where you can receive a clinical examination, after this it may include a blood test to confirm the diagnosis. For more information about where to get tested follow this link.


It is recommended that you get tested after you have had unprotected sex. You can also go and get tested if you want piece of mind or you are thinking about moving from condoms to another form of contraception.

At the clinic we have free Chlamydia testing kits and in the Students’ Union toilets on Thursdays. These are simple to do and you get the confidential results by text within 7 working days. Chlamydia is the most common STI so testing for this is a good indicator for whether you need further tests.

Places you can get tested: 

Local GP - Call your local service
SHACC - call 0800 75 66277 for an appointment where you would like it to be
Contraceptive Services at St Peters Health Centre - call 0116 295 7800
Leicester Royal Infirmary GUM Clunic - 0116 258 5208
Choices (Under 25's only) go to: