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The Man Manual - men's health made easy (in print)
Sex. It feels good, helps to create personal bonds and relieves stress.
Like anything however there are risks but, luckily for you, we have a guide on how to avoid them and what to do if you think you have caught one.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), the bugs that used to be known as venereal disease, or VD, are very common and can affect you whether you're straight, gay or bisexual. And you don't need to have sex with lots of people to be at risk of catching an STI — just one brief encounter with an STI may be enough.
Infections can be transmitted in several ways:
Not every infection is passed in all these ways — HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) cannot be passed through skin-to-skin contact, for example.
Some of the more common symptoms to look out for include:
If you have any of these problems, or any other suspicious symptoms, your best bet is to get them checked by a doctor at a specialist genito-urinary (GUM) clinic. GUM clinics provide a totally confidential service.
The best ways to avoid an STI are:
It's important to remember that most STIs can be easily treated. But you need to get tested sooner rather than later.
For more information on the most common STIs follow our links below.
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Date of last review 07/04/14
Date of next review 07/04/17