Having sex is a very normal and healthy part of our lives. However, it is possible that if one person has an infection it can pass to another person through the close physical contact that happens when you have sex. Infections that are spread in this way are known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The information contained in this section is not meant to frighten you or meant to stop you enjoying sex, but to help you avoid the kind of infections that can make sex unhealthy. The possibility of getting a sexually transmitted infection may not be something you ever thought about. Finding out about STIs is one way of avoiding them.

This section will give you facts on different STIs, including how do I know I have an STI, including symptoms and where to go, and procedures involved at each of the clinics.

Treatment in a STIs clinic is confidential, non-judgmental and free. Staff in the clinic are trained to treat STIs in an understanding and helpful way so there is no need for you to feel embarrassed. STIs do not go away by themselves.

The number of STIs is rising and a growing problem in Ireland and England. However most STIs can be easily diagnosed and treated at Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinics. (For more information on STI figures go to

See our Where To Go section for more information on clinics.