Just like HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can also affect your health. They include, for example, chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis.
STIs can be transmitted through many different sexual practices. Unfortunately, condoms and internal condoms do not offer full protection against STIs.
It is therefore important to detect STIs early on. For most STIs, medication (antibiotics) is available to control the disease. However, without medication STIs can cause severe health problems.
Sometimes STIs can be ‘silent’ cause any symptoms at all. In other cases, STIs can cause the body to change or feel pain.
STIs can cause, for example, the following signs and symptoms:
- Discharge from the penis, vagina or anus (rectum)
- Itching penis, vulva (vagina) or anus (rectum)
- Burning or painful sensation when peeing
- Changed colour of the urine (pee) or stool (poo)
- Pain or swelling of the genitals
- Sores, ulcers, blisters, lumps or warts
on the genitals, on or around the mouth, on or around the anus (rectum) or on other body parts
- Redness or white to yellow patches in the mouth, on the genitals or the anus (rectum)
Pay attention to whether a person you are having sex with shows any skin changes. Do not touch these areas. It is best to avoid sex with that person until they complete their treatment.
Look out for any changes in your own body, too. Have you discovered any unusual skin changes? Are you experiencing pain or mild signs or symptoms? Then you should see a doctor. It is important to get the right treatment if you have caught an infection. Please do not have sex with others until you complete the treatment.
An STI is nothing to be ashamed of! Many people catch an STI at some point in their lives. It is important to detect and treat any STI.
Are you in sexual relationships with changing partners? Then you should get tested for STIs once a year. You can also get vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
You can get more information and counselling at your local ‘Aidshilfe’ support centre. You do not have to say your name.
You can find more information on STIs in various languages, including English, at: