‘If I have an STI, am I more at risk from HIV?’

If you have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as chlamydia, syphilis or gonorrhoea and are exposed to HIV you are more likely to catch it.

Because HIV is not just another STI – there is no cure for HIV – you should get tested for HIV regularly. You should also practise safer sex at all times.

‘What are the most common STIs I should be aware of?’


Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection that affects men and women. Around one in ten young people under the age of 25 who are tested for chlamydia test positive. It is caused by a type of bacteria and, as you don't always show symptoms, it can go undetected for a very long time.

Chlamydia can be found in a number of sites on the human body, including the penis, vagina, rectum and in the eyes. Rectal infection with a particular strain of chlamydia called LGV can be a very serious infection if not diagnosed properly.


Gonorrhoea – 'the clap' – is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a type of bacteria (Neisseria gonorrhoeae).

Infection usually occurs in the genitals, but can affect the throat, eyes and anus.

Left untreated, it can cause pain, swelling and infertility in both men and women.


Syphilis can be hard to spot and is one of the most easily caught sexually transmitted infections, patricularly via oral sex. Although it's easy to treat, it can cause serious health problems in both men and women if left untreated.

For information on these and other STIs, visit the Sexual Health Scotland website (external site).

Condoms & lube

Find out how to stay healthy and still enjoy your sex life: