Sexually Transmitted Infections.
What is it?
on the face is called a cold sore but you can get it on the genitals or
anywhere else. There is no known cure for Herpes though there are treatments
available that will help some people. You can get it through kissing (mouth
to mouth), oral sex, and penetrative sex and through skin to skin contact.
What are the symptoms?
Sometimes there are no symptoms. Men and women may have one or more symptoms
- Tingling or itching on around the genital or anal area
- Appearance of small painful fluid filled blisters (in time these blisters will dry out)
- General flu like symptoms such as headache, backache or temperature
- Burning sensation when passing urine (peeing)
At this time the virus is highly infectious.
What is it caused by?
A virus called Herpes Simplex.
How is it diagnosed?
By looking at any sores or by taking a swab.
How is it treated?
No cure is available but, an anti viral drug in tablet form can reduce
the severity and length of the episodes. You can get these from your
GP or Sexual Health clinic. If you are getting 6 or more attacks
per year your doctor might suggest going on long term treatment for a
It is also important that you be tested for other STI’s
What can happen if it’s not treated?
Causes painful sores on or around the genitals. A pregnant woman might infect her baby.
You cannot tell by looking at someone if they have a sexually transmitted
infection, so if you are having sex (oral, anal or vaginal) the only way
to make sure you are not putting yourself at risk is to practise safer
- Always using condoms or femidoms (female condom inserted within the vagina) for vaginal sex.
- Always using condoms with water based lube for anal sex. Do not use condoms with spermicide if you are having anal sex.
- Always using flavoured condoms or dental dams (a latex shield that covers the mouth) when having oral sex.
- Trying non-penetrative sex like massage or mutual masturbation.
Condoms / Femidoms also protect you from other STIs including HIV. Always
check the packaging for the British Standard kitemark or European product
mark as well as the date of expiry.
Free condoms are available throughout Dumfries & Galloway. See the Clinic List.
Testing and treatment is available from:
- General Practitioners
- Sexual Health D&G, Nithbank, Dumfries.
Daily drop-in Mon-Fri 9.00-11.00am
- Stranraer Community Hospital
Every Monday 5.00 - 6.30pm
Every Wednesday 10.30 - 11.30am