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STI prevention tips

Using barriers

Using a barrier makes it less likely that infections get passed on. You could use a condom for fucking (or sucking if this worries you) or a latex glove for fingering or fisting.

No sex until the clinic says so

You can pass on an infection if you have sex before any treatment’s finished and before the clinic tells you it’s safe. You’ll be told by the clinic if they want you to come back so that they can check the treatment has worked.

Finishing the tablets

You could still have an infection unless you finish the whole course of tablets that you’ve been given, even if the symptoms go away.

No sharing tablets

Sharing tablets with someone else means neither of you will have enough medicine to clear your infection up properly. And someone else’s medicine could be the wrong treatment for what you have.

Telling others

Telling people you’ve had sex with that you’ve got an infection lets them know that they need to get checked too. Clinic staff can talk to you about ways of doing this which you feel comfortable about with (it can be done anonymously).

Pissing and drinking

There’s no definite proof that pissing after sex and drinking lots of water make it less likely that you’ll get a sexually transmitted infection in your cock but drinking lots and pissing after sex might prevent bladder or urinary tract infections as this can flush bacteria away.

Sex toys

Sex toys, like dildos, used on more than one person can spread infections, even in dried blood. Cover them with a new condom when used on a different person or wash them with warm soapy water, or a mix of one part bleach and nine parts water then rinse thoroughly.

A clean start

If you’re starting a new relationship, it’s a good idea for both of you to get checked for infections.

Seeing your doctor

More and more doctors (GPs) are screening people for STIs. If your surgery offers this, it can be a lot quicker than going to a sexual health clinic. If you’re thinking of going to your GP (not a clinic) to talk about STIs, HIV tests, hepatitis vaccinations or anything similar, you might want to think about the pros and cons of your doctor treating you.

If you have HIV

Here are some things you should know about:

  • People who are living with HIV, are on effective treatment and have an undetectable viral load cannot pass on HIV. However, if you are not yet undetectable, or don’t know you have HIV, then you may be more likely to pick up STIs.
  • Having an STI can make it easier to get HIV from someone who isn’t undetectable. For example, an STI can cause a sore or a break in the skin, which can make it easier for HIV to enter the body.
  • A lot of gay and bisexual men who get syphilis have HIV too. Ask your sexual health or HIV clinic for a syphilis blood test every six months, especially if you have sex with lots of men. Guys with HIV should also ask to be tested for hepatitis C at least once a year.
  • Unprotected sex makes you more likely to pick up STIs. Men with HIV who have anal sex without condoms make up a very large number of cases of syphilis, lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) and hepatitis C.
  • You can be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B if you have HIV.

Find your nearest clinic

If you want to get tested and/or treated for any sexually transmitted infections (STIs) you can go to a genito urinary medicine (GUM) or sexual health clinic.

If you are worried about being seen by people you know or are away from home when you need help, it’s not a problem. You can use any clinic, and don’t need to be sent there by your doctor.

Last review: 5/11/2018
Next review: 5/11/2021