FAQs


Q Where can I get emergency contraception?

A GP, Pharmacies, Sexual Health Dept., A&E, ADOC

Q Is having sex outside illegal?

A Yes, if you can be seen by anyone, this applies even if you are in your own garden.

Q What is the average size of a penis?

A Most penises are of similar size when erect (14-16cm) however there is a wide variety of sizes when soft.

Q If I don’t have symptoms can I be sure I don’t have an STI?

A No, the majority of STI’s do not cause symptoms. If left untreated they can result in serious complications. Get tested if you have been at risk.

Q Can you get an STI through oral sex?

A Yes, many STI’s can be passed on through oral sex.

Q Will anyone find out I have been to get tested?

A No, your visit to the sexual health department is confidential and no-one else is told about it, not even your GP.

Q Is it true men get an “umbrella test” for STI’s?

A No, there is no umbrella test; a lot of STI’s can be tested for using urine or small delicate swabs.

Q Is it true that only drug users and gay men get HIV?

A No, everyone who has had unprotected sex is at risk. In fact in the past few years more heterosexual men and women have been diagnosed with HIV than drug users and gay men!

Q Can you get pregnant the first time you have sex?

A Yes, many women have got pregnant the first time. If you are having sex you should use a reliable method of contraception and a condom.

Q Will I be safe from getting pregnant if I have sex standing up?

A No, it doesn’t matter what position you are in, the sperm move up through the vagina and cervical canal after ejaculation.

Q Can I get pregnant if I have sex during my period?

A Yes, as ovulation is not always regular and because sperm can survive inside a woman’s body for five days. Having unprotected sex during a period is not a reliable method of contraception.

Q If my partner pulls out before he ejaculates am I safe from getting pregnant?

A No, sperm can be present in the fluid before ejaculation happens. This is not a reliable method of contraception.

Q I would know by looking at someone if they have and STI wouldn’t I?

A No, you cannot tell by looking at someone whether they have an STI or HIV, the only way to check is by getting tested. Always use condoms to protect from STI’s.

Q Have I been at risk of HIV?

A You could have been at risk if you have: Unprotected sexual intercourse (particularly with high risk groups: Men who have sex with men; paid for or been paid for sex; high risk countries – inc Sub Saharan Africa), Unprofessional tattoos/piercings, Sharing or using unsterile injecting equipment (including steroids, tanning agents, drugs), Received a blood transfusion/blood products.

Q Can I get HIV from kissing someone who has the virus?

A No. Body fluids like saliva, sweat or urine, do not have enough of the virus in them to infect other people. You cannot get HIV through social contact such as kissing, hugging, shaking hands, sharing the same toilet, sharing crockery or cutlery.

Q How is the HIV test done?

A A sample of blood to look for HIV antibodies will be taken at either your GP surgery; sexual health clinic; or by your addiction worker, Results are usually available in 2 weeks. If you think you’re at high risk and wish a RAPID 20 minute test and result, you can contact Terence Higgins Trust (THT). For further information Tel 0141 332 3838 or email info.scotland@tht.org.uk.

Q What is the window period for HIV?

A It can take up to 3 months for HIV antibodies to be detected in the blood. This means that your test shows your status from 3 months before.

Q Can HIV be cured?

A Although we cannot cure HIV, the virus can be suppressed with medicines to improve your body’s immune system and fight infection, and you can live a normal health life.

Q If I’m HIV positive does that mean I have AIDS?

A HIV is the virus which causes AIDS. A person has AIDS when their immune system has become so weak it can no longer fight off a whole range of diseases and infections which it would normally cope with. Early diagnosis and treatment of HIV can prevent AIDS in many cases. In those who develop AIDS, with the correct treatment it is possible to recover, however the person will still have HIV.

Q Who should I tell if I am HIV positive?

A You should tell your sexual partner. We would advise telling your GP or Healthcare worker, or anyone coming in contact with your body fluids. You could tell the occupational health department at your work, depending on your line of work.

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