Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections spread from person to person during sex (vaginal, oral, or anal) or close intimate contact. Anyone who has had unprotected sex can get an STI. 

Since many STIs don’t show any obvious signs or symptoms, at least at first, it’s important to take precautions to protect yourself and your partner and to get tested regularly.

Most STIs are easily treated. If left untreated, some STIs may cause serious illness or even permanent damage, such as infertility. Early detection can help reduce or avoid health complications. It can also help minimize the spread of STIs to others.

Get tested for STIs

Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) offers STI testing during our sexual health drop-in clinics. You can also be tested for STIs through your healthcare provider.

How often should I get tested?

We recommend that you get tested:

  • With each new sexual partner
  • If you get STI symptoms
  • If your partner has recently tested positive for an STI

Protect yourself from STIs

Follow these tips to reduce your risk of getting an STI:

  • Talk about STIs and safe sex with every partner so you can protect each other.
  • Check that you are up-to-date with vaccinations against hepatitis and HPV.
  • Use condoms and/or dental dams 

Common STIs

Review the symptoms and treatment options for the most common STIs.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection and you may not display any signs or symptoms. It can be passed from unprotected oral, vaginal or anal sex with a person who already has the infection.

Genital herpes

Genital herpes is a viral infection that is spread through skin-to-skin contact with an infected area, typically during vaginal or oral sex. You may experience burning or itching and in some cases, painful blisters may develop.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea can cause serious health problems and has to be treated. You may not display symptoms however; you could notice a yellowish vaginal or penis discharge, pain when you urinate and more.

Hepatitis

Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are part of a group of liver diseases.

HIV/AIDS

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

HPV is a common STI and can cause cancer of the cervix, vagina and vulva as well as genital warts.

Learn more about other common STIs.