Regardless of your IQ, how is your STIQ?

Sexually transmitted infections (STI), also called STD’s, are a risk for everyone who is sexually active.

Regardless of your marital status or sexual orientation, you are vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections and symptoms. If you don’t get yourself treated, then you could be making yourself more at risk of acquiring another STI such as HIV. 
STIQ Day on 14th January seeks to encourage us all to be more aware of the risks and how to protect yourself.  


Though condoms, when properly used, are highly effective for reducing transmission of some STD’s, no method is fool proof, and STI symptoms aren’t always obvious. The table below will help you understand how you can recognise common STI’s. 

Asymptomatic STI’s  

Raise your STIQ             

  • Many STI’s have no signs or symptoms.  

  • Even with no symptoms, you can pass the infection to your sexual partners. 

  • It is important to visit your doctor regularly for STI screening so you can identify and treat any infection and reduce the potential for passing it on. 

What to look out for

  • Asymptomatic STI will show no signs or symptoms.  

  • Regular STI screening will be the only way to reveal a condition. 


Raise your STIQ 

  • Chlamydia is a bacterial infection of the genital tract.  

  • It may be difficult to detect because early-stage infections cause few, or no symptoms. 

  • When they do occur, symptoms usually start one to three weeks after you’ve been exposed to chlamydia and may be mild and pass quickly. 

What to look out for

  • Painful to urinate 

  • Lower abdominal pain 

  • Vaginal discharge in women 

  • Discharge from the penis  

  • Pain during sex in women 

  • Bleeding between periods in women 

  • Testicular pain 


Raise your STIQ 

  • Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection of your genital tract. 

  • The bacteria can also grow in your mouth, throat, eyes and anus.  

  • The first gonorrhoea symptoms generally appear within 10 days after exposure. However, some people may be infected for months before symptoms occur. 

What to look out for

  • Thick, cloudy or bloody discharge from the penis or vagina 

  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating 

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between periods 

  • Painful, swollen testicles 

  • Painful bowel movements 

  • Anal itching 


Raise your STIQ 

  • Trichomoniasis is a common STI caused by a microscopic, one-celled parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis.  

  • The organism spreads during sexual intercourse with someone who already has the infection.  

What to look out for

  • Clear, white, greenish or yellow vaginal discharge 

  • Discharge from the penis 

  • Strong vaginal odour 

  • Vaginal itching or irritation 

  • Itching or irritation inside the penis 

  • Pain during sexual intercourse 

  • Painful urination 


Raise your STIQ 

  • HIV is an infection with the human immunodeficiency virus. 

  • HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight off viruses, bacteria, and fungi that cause illness, and can lead to AIDS, a chronic life-threatening disease. 

What to look out for

Early-stage HIV symptoms may include: 

  • Fever 

  • Headache 

  • Sore throat 

  • Swollen lymph glands 

  • Rash 

  • Fatigue 

As the virus continues to multiply and destroy immune cells, you may develop mild infections or chronic signs and symptoms such as: 

  • Swollen lymph nodes — often one of the first signs of HIV infection 

  • Diarrhoea 

  • Weight loss 

  • Fever 

  • Cough and shortness of breath 

Genital Herpes 

Raise your STIQ 

  • A highly contagious STI caused by a type of the herpes simplex virus (HSV) that enters your body through small breaks in your skin or mucous membranes.  

What to look out for

  • Small red bumps, blisters or open sores (ulcers) in the genital areas and areas nearby 

  • Pain or itching around the genital area, buttocks and inner thighs. 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and genital warts 

Raise your STIQ 

  • One of the most common types of STI’s. Some forms of HPV put women at high risk of cervical cancer. Other forms cause genital warts.  

What to look out for

  • Small, flesh coloured or grey swellings in your genital area 

  • Several warts close together that take on a cauliflower shape 

  • Itching or discomfort in your genital area 

  • Bleeding with intercourse 

Raise your STIQ 

  • Hepatitis A, B and C are all contagious viral infections that affect your liver.  

  • Hepatitis B and C are the most serious of the three, but each can cause your liver to become inflamed.  

What to look out for

  • Fatigue 

  • Nausea and vomiting 

  • Abdominal pain or discomfort 

  • Loss of appetite 

  • Fever 

  • Dark urine 

  • Muscle or joint pain 

  • Itching 

  • Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice) 


Raise your STIQ 

  • Syphilis is bacterial infection. 

  • The disease affects your genitals, skin and mucous membranes.  

  • It can also involve many other parts of your body, including your brain and heart. 

What to look out for

  • Rash marked by red or reddish-brown penny sized sores over any area of your body, including your palms and soles 

  • Fever 

  • Enlarged lymph nodes 

  • Fatigue and a vague feeling of discomfort 

  • Soreness and aching 

What support have you had for sexually transmitted illnesses? 

What could be better? 

Your story could help other people like you. 

We can use your experience to help improve the support available for other people. 

Get in touch today  

Share your thoughts

You can help make health and care services better by sharing your experiences and ideas.

Talk to us