Rash to conclusions
My boyfriend and I have been sleeping together for three years. Neither of us has had sex with anyone else, although I once had unprotected sexual contact with an ex. My boyfriend has developed a rash around his genital area - has it got anything to do with me or is it just an innocent rash?
There are many different types of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and they can be spread in different ways, not just through penetrative sex. However, there are also some infections that are not necessarily sexually transmitted at all. When people have an STI it can take weeks or months before symptoms appear, while for others no noticeable symptoms appear at all.
To find out what's causing the rash, it would be a good idea for your boyfriend to visit a doctor (GP) or a genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinic. A visit to either of these is confidential, which means that no one will be told about it unless you want them to be.
Tests for infections vary - some involve taking swabs from the tip of the penis or cervix, while others involve taking a urine or blood sample. Before being tested it is usual to see a health adviser who will discuss any concerns, and reassure you about what the tests will involve.
Question answered by YouthNet in association with Brook