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Get wise to STIs<h2 class="sectHeading">Causes of STIs​​​​​​​</h2><p> ​Common STIs include <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Personal-health/Sexual-health/Hiv-and-aids">HIV/AIDS</a>, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes, genital warts (caused by certain types of the human papilloma virus or HPV), syphilis, trichomonas, hepatitis B, bacterial vaginosis and thrush (candida).</p><h4> Some organisms (e.g. HIV and hepatitis B virus) which cause certain STIs can also be passed on:</h4><ul><li>from mother to child during birth<br></li><li>through unsafe blood transfusions</li><li>by sharing needles (for example, in drug use)<br></li></ul> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info note">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Please note</h4><p>Some STIs do not always have symptoms so you may not know you have one. Go for a check-up if there is even the smallest chance you might have contracted an STI.</p></div></div></span> <h4> The following factors will increase your risk of getting an STI:</h4><h4>Risky sex:</h4><ul><li>Not using a <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Personal-health/Sexual-health/Wear-a-condom">condom </a>with a partner who has an STI</li><li>Not using a condom properly (see <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Personal-health/Sexual-health/Wear-a-condom">wear a condom</a>)</li><li>Having sex with a person whose sexual history is not known to you</li><li>Having sex with someone when there is a visible sore or discharge which might mean they have an STI</li><li>Having sex after using <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Personal-health/Drug-and-alcohol-abuse/The-dangers-of-alcohol">alcohol ​</a>or <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Personal-health/Drug-and-alcohol-abuse/The-dangers-of-drugs">drugs</a> increases the chance that you have sex without a condom and / or with an unknown partner</li><li>Anal sex without a condom increases your risk of getting HIV</li></ul><h4>Multiple partners:</h4><ul><li>Each new sexual partner increases your risk of having sex with someone who has an STI </li><li>Starting to have sex at a young age increases the chance that you will have more sexual partners</li></ul><h4> Genital ailments:</h4><ul><li>Having sex when you have any sores, cuts or discharge in the genital region or mouth makes it easier for some STIs like HIV or hepatitis B to enter the body</li><li>Vaginal douching after unsafe sex can irritate the vagina which makes it easier for infections to get into the body</li><li>If you have a discharge, this irritates the vagina (for women) or urethra (for men) and this makes it easier for infections to get into the body</li><li> <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Personal-health/Sexual-health/Understanding-rape-and-sexual-assault">Being forced to have sex</a> (abuse, voilence, rape) may result in cuts which make it easier for infections to get into the body</li></ul> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Symptoms of STIs​​​​​​​</h2></span> <h4> Go for a check-up straight away if you have any of these symptoms: </h4><ul><li>Unusual fluids from your penis or vagina</li><li>Swollen glands, body aches and fever</li><li>Warts or sores on and around your penis or vagina</li><li>Pain or burning when urinating</li><li>Pain while having sex</li><li>A rash or itching in and around your penis or vagina<br></li><li>Small blisters or ulcers on and around your penis or vagina</li></ul><p>Sometimes STIs have no symptoms. If you have had risky sex it is best to go to the clinic for a check-up.</p> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Preventing STIs​​​​​​​</h2></span> <p> <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/personal-health/sexual-health/wear-a-condom">Condoms (male and female)</a> are the only form of contraception that offer good (but not 100%) protection against both unplanned pregnancy and STIs. </p><p>It is recommended that for better protection against unplanned pregnancy, consider using another form of contraception such as an oral contraceptive pill as well as condoms. This is called dual protection. For more information on the different types of contraception, see <span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0"> <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Personal-health/Pregnancy-and-family-planning/Contraception-and-family-planning">Contraception and ​family planning​</a></span><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">.​ </span></p><p>If you and your partner are often separated (e.g. for migrant work), you may want to consider having regular checkups for STIs. For more tips on healthy sex in general, see <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Personal-health/Sexual-health/Ten-tips-for-healthier-sex">10 tips for healthier sex</a>. </p> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact">​​</i></div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact​</h4><p>People with STIs are more vulnerable to being infected with <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Personal-health/Sexual-health/Hiv-and-aids">HIV</a>. This is because having a sore from an STI may allow HIV to enter more easily into your body.  </p></div></div></span> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Treating STIs​​​​​​​</h2></span> <h4> If left untreated, an STI can have serious effects on your health such as: </h4><ul><li>infertility (difficulty falling pregnant)</li><li>cancer of the sex organs</li><li></li><li>congenital syphilis</li><li>damage to heart and kidneys</li><li>neurological illness</li></ul> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info note">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Please note</h4><p> If syphilis in a pregnant woman is left untreated, it can cause congenital syphilis in the unborn baby.<br></p></div></div></span> <h4>Congenital syphilis can cause:<br></h4><ul><li>miscarriage (losing the baby) </li><li>stillbirth (a baby born dead) </li><li>prematurity (a baby born early) </li><li>low birth weight </li><li>death  shortly after birth</li></ul><h4>In babies with congenital syphilis, this disease can cause:</h4><ul><li>deformed bones </li><li>severe anaemia (low iron levels) </li><li>enlarged liver and spleen </li><li>jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes) </li><li>brain and nerve problems, like blindness or deafness </li><li>meningitis skin </li><li>rashes<br></li></ul><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact">​​</i></div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact​</h4><p>Most STIs can be completely cured if treated early (<a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Personal-health/Sexual-health/Hiv-and-aids">HIV</a> is an exception). </p></div></div><h4> Where to go for help</h4><ul><li> City Health clinics. Visit our <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/See-all-City-facilities/Our-service-facilities/Clinics%20and%20healthcare%20facilities">City clinics listing page</a> and use the filter to search for facilities that offer STI treatment.</li><li> General <a href="https://www.westerncape.gov.za/dept/health/facilities/944" target="_blank">provincial clinics<i class="icon link-external"></i></a></li><li> Provincial reproductive health centres that offer <a href="https://www.westerncape.gov.za/directories/facilities/942" target="_blank">treatment of STIs​<i class="icon link-external"></i> </a></li></ul><h4> Extra resources </h4><ul><li> <a href="https://www.mariestopes.org.za/" target="_blank">Marie ​S​topes<i class="icon link-external"></i></a>​  </li><li> <a href="https://www.westerncape.gov.za/dept/health" target="_blank">Western Cape ​​​Government's heatlh section<i class="icon link-external"></i></a></li><li> <a href="https://www.safersex.co.za/" target="_blank">Safer Sex website<i class="icon link-external"></i>​</a></li></ul>GP0|#87a22f1e-97bd-4f40-a401-0a819c39b345;L0|#087a22f1e-97bd-4f40-a401-0a819c39b345|Get wise to STIs;GTSet|#ef3a64a2-d764-44bc-9d69-3a63d3fadea1;GPP|#4d9ccd12-a383-4753-97d8-71d13417b782;GPP|#36dcb5fe-6bfc-4ae9-92d7-8bd08d1f6414;GPP|#af370586-9ba3-404a-9d6e-02066ca42752;GP0|#9efeff88-5c83-4a80-9d6e-e03330c4ae83;L0|#09efeff88-5c83-4a80-9d6e-e03330c4ae83|Get wise to STIs;GPP|#d65ab879-2884-426b-a380-7b8f9433c812;GPP|#090e430c-3809-42d5-a80b-caea93b2beaf;GPP|#245ec7aa-a528-4cd3-bcac-597c292db711;GP0|#7aba8b7f-f79d-4161-9192-e24be9d7f54b;L0|#07aba8b7f-f79d-4161-9192-e24be9d7f54b|Get wise to STIs;GPP|#29d3d5b5-6925-47c8-aa75-e5870bf478caLearn how sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs) are spread, how to stay safe and where to seek treatment.0

 

 

 

 

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