What you need to know about STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections)
A healthy sex life isn't just about having a lot of really great sex (don't get us wrong, it's a big part of it), it also means we need to talk more about STIs. The more people using condoms with casual partners, testing regularly, and being treated for STIs, the less we'll see new STI diagnoses.
There are many types of STIs and they can be viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic infections. Different STIs are transmitted in different ways and, unlike HIV, they can often be transmitted via oral sex, saliva and condomless anal sex with partners.
Finding out you have an STI is nothing to be ashamed. But, you do need to tell all your sexual partners from the last 3 months. Don't know how to tell them? we can write the message for you
Unlike with HIV, there aren't always clear cut prevention methods for all STIs. What we do know, is that condoms help prevent a lot of STIs. Being equipped with condoms, lube, regular STI testing and the knowledge on this page you should be ready to navigate your sexual encounters more safely.
Remember though, that there is no shame in contracting an STI. What's important is that you get tested regularly so you can pick up anything you may have and get it treated (or get the right medical advice for STIs without treatments) quickly.
One of the leading causes of STIs spreading is the fear of getting tested - which means they can be transmitted without people ever knowing they had them.
Symptoms can be misleading or often not exist at all when it comes to certain STIs, this is why we can't stress enough that getting tested regularly is the best way to keep track of and treat any STIs.
If you're testing with us - remember that if you are already displaying STI symptoms, we won't be able to test you and will refer you on to Sexual Health Services or your regular clinic to be tested and connected to treatment.
You can find your closest Sexual Health Clinic with this helpful tool on Just The Facts!
Burnett Foundation offers self STI testing kits and STI & HIV testing in our three centres across Aotearoa - click here to find your closest testing place. Please remember that if you are already displaying STI symptoms, we won't be able to test you and must refer on to Sexual Health Services or your regular clinic to be tested and connected to treatment.
Sexual Health Services offer full STI screening services and can connect you to treatment immediately.
You can also request STI screenings with your personal GP.
If you get an STI, your partners want to know.
If you get diagnosed with an STI, you need to tell everyone from the last 3 months.