Sexually Transmitted Infections
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are passed from one person to another through unprotected sex or genital contact. Examples of different types of STIs include: gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, genital warts, genital herpes, trichimonas vaginalis, pubic lice, scabies.
To find out more about these including symptoms visit the NHS website.
Asian / Muslim Youth
Asian / Muslim communities forbid sex before marriage. Despite these cultural and religious attitudes, young people from these communities are having pre-marital sex. Because girls and women from these communities are keeping their sexual relationships a secret to prevent their families from finding out, they are:
- More likely to have unprotected sex
- Less likely to be tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which means if they have STIs they are more likely to be left untreated
- More likely to rely on emergency contraception / morning after pill
- More likely to rely on abortion
Married Asian / Muslim Women
Married women are also finding it difficult to access sexual health services. Some men's extra marital sexual behaviours are resulting in sexually transmitted infections being passed on to the wife. In most cases the men are not using condoms nor disclosing they have infections to their wives. Many women in these situations are embarrassed to ask for help. Those that do and get treatment find it difficult to challenge their husbands due to fear of violence and also being blamed by extended family, particularly the in laws (to cover up any wrong doing by the men).
You can be tested for STIs at a sexual health clinic, genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic or GP surgery.
- Visit a Brook Advisory Centre - If you are concerned about your sexual health and are under the age of 25, then you can contact Brook. They provide sexual health services across the UK. You can drop in to see a youth worker, nurse or counsellor.. To find a service near you visit the Brook website
- Visit a Sexual Health or GUM Clinic -Anybody can go to a sexual health clinic, no matter what their age. Some clinics require you to make an appointment, while others offer "drop-in" sessions, where you can turn up without an appointment. If you're under 16, the service is still confidential and the clinic won't tell your parents. When you go to a sexual health clinic, you'll be asked for your name and some contact details. You don't have to give your real name if you don't want to. If you do, it will be kept confidential. Your GP won't be told of your visit without your permission.
Search for a sexual health clinic near you and find out what services they offer HERE.