This blood and urine test checks for 6 of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in men and women. Many STIs don't cause any symptoms or the symptoms can be mild and overlooked - often having an STI test is the only way to find out whether you have been infected. An untreated sexually transmitted infection can lead to further medical problems and the spreading of the infection to others. That's why it's important to get checked, especially if you have had unprotected sex, sex with someone whose medical history is unknown to you or if you are changing sexual partner. Most STIs are easily treated with a course of antibiotics.
The 6 common STIs we test for in this profile include:
Chlamydia is a very common infection that can affect both men and women. It is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and although it often doesn't produce any symptoms, it can spread to the uterus and the fallopian tubes in women where it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, a leading cause of infertility.
Gonorrhoea is an STI which is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Gonorrhoea can cause symptoms of a discoloured and bad-smelling discharge from the vagina or penis, as well as a burning sensation when you urinate. Up to 50% of women and 10% of men may have no symptoms at all.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that lives in the bodily fluids of infected people - including semen, vaginal fluids and blood. It is most commonly transmitted through unprotected sex with an infected partner. HIV damages your immune system making it harder to fight infections and disease. Although there is no cure for HIV, current treatment means that many people with HIV live normal and healthy lives.
Syphilis is an infection that is passed from one person to another during sex. Syphilis progresses in stages with different symptoms, although some of these may be mild. Symptoms include sores and skin growths around the anus and genitals, a blotchy rash as well as joint pain and fever. Without treatment the syphilis infection can damage vital organs such as the brain, heart, nerves, liver and bones.
Hepatitis B is a virus found in blood and bodily fluids which causes liver damage. Hepatitis B often has no symptoms and many people recover from an infection without the need for treatment. If hepatitis B becomes long-lasting it can cause severe liver scarring (cirrhosis) and cancer. Symptoms of hepatitis B include nausea, diarrhoea, stomach pain and flu-like symptoms. Having unprotected sex or sharing needles increases your risk of getting hepatitis B.
Trichomoniasis is a common STI caused by a parasite which infects the vagina and urethra (the tube that passes urine) in women and the urethra in men. Most people infected by trichomoniasis have no symptoms and don't know that they are infected. Symptoms include discharge from the vagina or penis, itching or soreness in the genital areas and discomfort when urinating. Pregnant women who are infected may also experience complications. Having a trichomonas infection increases the risk of getting and spreading other STIs.