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Sexual Health Testing

STIs are infections that are commonly spread by close sexual contact. While usually spread by intercourse, some STIs can also be spread by non-sexual contact with contaminated blood and tissues, breastfeeding or childbirth.

There are more than 20 known STIs and some will cause symptoms that you should see your doctor about immediately. However, you must ensure you are regularly tested for STIs if you are sexually active as some of these infections can be ‘silent’ where there are no noticeable symptoms. Testing for STIs is free and confidential. Testing may be performed on a urine sample or swab to detect chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomonas or herpes, depending on the site of infection. Blood tests are available which detect antibodies to HIV and syphilis. HPV testing may be performed in women with abnormal PAP smears. Due to the wide spectrum of STIs, there is no one test to detect them all.

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    Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

    There are many different types of HPV. Low risk types may cause genital warts and minor changes in the cervix. High risk types cause minor changes, and sometimes cause precancerous changes and cervical cancer.

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    Syphilis

    Syphilis is easily treated but can cause severe health problems if left untreated, such as damage to the heart, eyes, brain, nervous system, bones and joints.

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    Gonorrhoea

    Gonorrhoea is easily treated, however if ignored, can lead to serious complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women which may cause sterility.

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    Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI's)

    Testing for STIs is free and confidential. Testing may be performed on a urine sample or swab to detect chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomonas or herpes, depending on the site of infection.

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