I Think I've Caught An STD. Where Can I Get Help?


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Lucy Burroughs answered

If you think you've caught an STD, you should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Contracting an STD is one of the many risks that comes with having unprotected sex. Using a condom is beneficial even if you or your partner is on birth control, as condoms can prevent the transmission of such infections.

Where Can I Get Help with STDs?

Treatment and support are available either by visiting your GP, who will keep all information confidential - or you can book an appointment with your local GUM clinic (Genito Urinary Medicine). They are usually located within hospitals and are staffed with trained nurses and doctors who have seen plenty of patients with all sorts of infections.

Most clinics will test you for all possible infections:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrea
  • Herpes
  • HIV
  • Syphilis

How Will I Be Treated for STDs?

You will be asked to provide samples - for men this is usually a urine and blood sample; women will have swabs taken from the cervix and blood samples are also taken.

Results are usually produced a week or so after your appointment. It's all anonymous, as you're identified by a number, and you can choose how they contact you - by telephone, email, or text.

If any of the results show up positive - the clinic will happily help you with treatments and support.

Should I Be Scared About STDs?

Try not to worry too much about your infection; you might not even have one. If you do find that you've caught an STD, keep calm, as most are very easily treated with a course of antibiotics.

It is important to take your medication, as infections such as Chlamydia can lead to infertility if left untreated. It's also worth remembering that some infections don't need to be making themselves known to you at all - indeed, Chlamydia is one of the fastest spreading infections that regularly goes unnoticed.

If you are worried about catching more serious infections such as the HIV virus or Syphilis you will need to also get it checked out as soon as possible.

Although it can feel embarrassing and humilliating to have to talk to a stranger about your condition, the relief of knowing that you're safe and have been treated is more than worth it. Also, just think how many other people your doctor has treated with the same problem - it's their job!

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