Anyone who is sexually active can get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) – practising safe sex reduces the risk.
In 80% of cases there are no symptoms
The most common STIs in Brighton & Hove are: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, genital warts, genital herpes and syphilis. Not everyone who picks up one of these will show symptoms.
Testing for STIs isn’t scary or embarrassing. It’s free, quick, easy and confidential. In most cases, a simple swab or urine sample that you do yourself is all that's needed.
- If you are sexually active, you should get an STI test at least once every 12 months, and more often if you're having sex with multiple partners.
- If you think you have been exposed to an STI, you should get tested, even if you don’t have any signs or symptoms.
Even if you test positive, most STIs are easily treated
Early diagnosis and treatment is important to lower the risk of developing painful complications including infertility. Left untreated, STIs can have serious health consequences. Getting treated quickly is crucial.
STI Testing Week
1 to 7 April is Brighton & Hove STI Testing Week. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust, and supported by Brighton & Hove City Council’s Public Health team, the annual week aims to encourage local residents to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Why is STI Testing Week important?
Brighton & Hove has one of the highest rates of STIs in the country. The rate of diagnoses for new STIs in the city is double the rate for England. Young People, men who have sex with men and some BME groups have the highest levels of STIs in the city. Find out more about sexual health statistics in Brighton & Hove.
By highlighting how easy it is to get tested and where you can go, more people will get tested and treated. In 2018, 800 tests were carried out during Brighton & Hove STI Testing Week.
Alan Boyd, Health Promotion Practitioner at Terrence Higgins Trust in Brighton, said:
“We have very high STI rates in the area including the highest in the South East region and the highest outside of London.
“Overall, around 1 in 10 people we see at Terrence Higgins Trust in Brighton tests positive for an STI without showing any symptoms; and many more receive a positive test result from one of our local sexual health clinics. This is why we want to use this week to raise awareness of the importance of STI testing. Not only is testing easy, painless and free to everyone, it’s available across the city this week in bars and clubs, as well community venues and at Terrence Higgins Trust’s Ship Street office.
“STIs don’t discriminate, anyone who is having sex can get an STI. Many STIs have no symptoms, so there is a chance that you or your partner could be infected without knowing it.
“If you are diagnosed with an STI it’s important to get treated and test again to make sure that it’s worked. It’s also vital to let your sexual partner or partners know if you have an STI so that they can be treated and we can reduce the spread of STIs.”
Terrence Higgins Trust are offering free testing during the week
- Ship Street Clinic – Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10am–5pm and Thursday, 10am–8pm
- Brighton Sauna – Wednesday 3 April, 5.30–8pm
- Hove Sauna – Tuesday 2 April, 9–11am
- Their outreach team will be in Charles Street Tap, Legends and Subline on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 April
Throughout the week, the Terrence Higgins Trust and the Chlamydia Screening team will be hosting various events and offering free testing at the MET College, Sussex University and Brighton University. For more information have a look at their Facebook page or contact 01273 764200.
SHAC East offer walk-in and booked appointments
- Contact SHAC East (Claude Nicol Centre) on 01273 523388.
- Follow SHAC Twitter to stay informed about sexual health and contraception in the city.
If you would prefer to test at home
Free postal kits can be ordered from Brighton & Hove Sexual Health & Contraception Service (SHAC).
Under 25s can pick up a free chlamydia test pack
Under 25s can pick up free condoms, femidoms, dams and chlamydia test packs wherever you see the C-Card logo.