Men4Men Sexual Health Outreach Project (SHOP)

AboutSpecialist Psychosexual Therapy ServiceSTIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections)PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis)GUM ServicesOrder FREE Condoms & Sexual Health LiteratureHomophobiaLocal Gay Venues in BedfordshireService Feedback FormContactLinks

 
 
  STIs Common Sexually Transmitted Infections for Men  
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTION (STI) information for Men who have sex with other Men, based in Bedfordshire

 

   

 

Order FREE Condoms & Lube

 

General Symptoms

You need to visit your GP, Sexual Health Service or local GUM service if you experience any itching, swelling or redness around the penis, unusual discharge from the penis, or pains in the lower abdomen.

[ link to GUM Service Page ]


Most conditions vary in their symptoms but the most common are listed below:

Chlamydia
Genital warts
Genital herpes
Gonorrhoea
Syphilis
HIV
Pubic lice

 

Chlamydia
Chlamydia is caused by a bacteria called Chlyamidia Trachomatis. Chlamydia is the most common STI in men and is easy to treat but very difficult to diagnose in men. About 50 percent of men will not show symptoms and are not regularly screened for Chlamydia. This means that Chlamydia infection can readily be passed between unknowing partners. Initial Chlamydia symptoms in men, when noticeable, include a whitish or watery discharge from the penis and a burning sensation when urinating. The tip of the penis may be red and sore. If infected through anal sex, symptoms include bleeding or discharge from the rectum and a burning sensation. Chlamydia infection from oral sex can cause a red, sore throat. Symptoms occur one to three weeks after infection. Symptoms from an undiagnosed and untreated Chlamydia infection that has progressed through the body can include arthritis, skin rash and eye inflammation and infection (conjunctivitis). If left untreated, Chlamydia can lead to chronic inflammation of the urethra in men as well as the Epididymis (the tube located within the scrotum next to the testicles where sperm mature and are stored prior to ejaculation). Epididymitis can cause fever as well as swelling and mild to severe pain in the scrotum. The longer the infection is left untreated, the greater the risk of infertility.


 

Genital warts
Genital Warts is a viral infection. If a person has the Genital Wart virus, they may experience spots or lumps of varying sizes and numbers. These lumps can either be around the head or the shaft of the penis, around the scrotum, on the perineum (the area of skin between the back of the scrotum and the anus), around the outside of the anus or within the anal opening. It is possible for people to be ‘carriers’ of the Genital Wart virus. This means that they have the virus within their system, but they have never experienced any symptoms what so ever. Therefore it is very easy for these people to pass the infection on, without even realising that they have it. It is possible for the Genital Wart virus to lay dormant within a person for up to 2yrs, before producing any kind of symptom. So, again, people can be passing the virus on through unprotected sex, without even realising they have it.


 

Genital herpes
Genital Herpes is also a viral infection. It is a ‘sister virus’ to the virus which causes Cold Sores. This does not mean that if a person has a history of experiencing cold sores, they will get genital herpes. However, if oral sex is performed by somebody who has a cold sore on their lip, it is possible that the recipient of the oral sex could develop genital herpes. The symptoms of Genital Herpes can be small fluid filled blisters that can burst to leave sores anywhere in the genital area. During the first outbreak of Genital Herpes it is very common for people to experience flu-like symptoms along with the presence of genital blisters or sores. People have also often experienced some itchiness, burning or tingling around the genitals. People can be unaware that they are carrying the Genital Herpes virus, until they experience their first outbreak of the infection, therefore it is possible that they have passed the virus onto their sexual partner without even realising there was any risk.


 

Gonorrhoea
Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection, which often produces symptoms. This infection can affect the penis, anus, rectum and/or throat. Over 90% of men experience symptoms, which can include a discharge from the tip of the penis that can appear yellow or green, some people have also experienced pain when urinating. Gonorrhoea is a completely treatable sexually transmitted infection; a simple course of antibiotics can ensure that the bacteria are cleared. Once Gonorrhoea has been treated and cleared, it will not re-occur unless the individual is re-exposed to the bacteria via unprotected sex.


 

Syphilis
About three weeks after contracting Syphilis one or more sores may appear on the body, usually around the penis. Anytime from a few weeks to a few months later a rash may appear: these small spots don't itch. At the same time other sores may appear and you may feel unwell, often as if you have a very bad cold. During this time you will be very infectious. If not treated Syphilis can eventually go on to cause more serious health problems later in life.


 

HIV
Many people do not develop any symptoms when they first become infected with HIV. Some people, however, can experience a flu-like illness within three to six weeks after exposure to the virus. The only way to know if you are HIV Positive is to have a test, which is available at your nearest Sexual Health Service or GUM Clinic. Over time, infection with HIV weakens the immune system leading to difficulties in fighting off certain infections.


 

Pubic lice
Symptoms of Pubic Lice can include intensely itchy skin around the genital area, some people have also noticed, black powder (lice droppings) in their underwear. Pubic Lice is another completely treatable sexually transmitted infection. If you are ever told that the fastest way to treat Pubic Lice is to remove the pubic hair, this is not true. Removal of the pubic hair will only increase the symptom of itchiness, as the hair grows back. The only way to treat Pubic Lice is to use the treatment provided by the GP, Sexual Health Service or GUM Clinic.

 

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a guide only. If you have any concerns about your sexual health please seek a medical examination from your nearest Sexual Health Service or GUM Clinic.

 



 

 
 
Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust

Accessibility   Privacy   Legal   Site Map    

 

Website Counter
(Site visits since the 29 May 2008)