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When on holiday it is important to remember to protect yourself from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and HIV.  Before you head off on holiday if you need a supply of your regular contraception to take with you then contact your local sexual health clinic on 0300 303 0251 (Line open Monday to Friday 9.00 a.m. to 4.45 p.m.).  If you are looking for condoms then please use our Free Condoms, No Fuss Service, for more information on where to obtain your free condoms please go to the Contraception part of this site.

  • TALK to your sexual partner about protection before it is too late
  • Taking condoms is not enough – if you have penetrative sex USE condoms
  • Keep an eye on your drinking.  Taking too much alcohol will make you more likely to have unprotected sex.

Not everyone will have casual sex while away, but many people behave differently when away from home – whether they intend to or not.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually transmitted infections are prevalent in almost every country in the world.  The most common STI’s include:


Chlamydia
(bacteria) – symptoms include unusual discharge but 70% of women and 50% of men have no symptoms.  Antibiotics are effective, but if left untreated Chlamydia can lead to pelvic infection and infertility.


Gonorrhoea
(bacteria) – affects the urethra, rectum, throat or cervix.  If symptoms occur, they may include abdominal pain, sore throats and discharge.  Gonorrhoea is treated with antibiotics but in women can lead to infertility if left untreated.


Genital Warts
– symptoms may include small growths around the genitals that can be treated but can recur.


Syphilis
– early symptoms may include painless sores followed by a skin rash.  Syphilis is treated with antibiotics, but can cause more serious problems if left untreated.


HIV Infection
– The major routes of infection are through blood, sexual fluids and from mother to child.  Globally, sexual intercourse accounts for about three-quarters of all new HIV infections.  Transmission between men and women is now the most common route of HIV infection.  Condoms are the best protection against HIV – get them before you travel.  Think of the risks – there are very few countries in the world that are free from HIV infection.  You cannot tell whether someone is infected by looking at them and many people who have HIV do not know it themselves.

If you think you have put yourself at risk contact your local sexual health clinic when you get home – phone the appointment line on 0845 618 7191 or 01236 712908 (Line open Monday to Friday 9.00 a.m. to 4.45 p.m.)