Safe sex means making sure you don't catch a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or have an unwanted pregnancy. Your best protection is to use a condom - not just sometimes, but every time you have sex.

Why don't you take the safe sex test and see how much you know?

For free confidential advice on safe sex, condoms and contraception or to find your nearest sexual health clinic, visit the following websites:

The condom card (C-CARD Scheme)

The C-CARD is a co-ordinated condom distribution network specifically designed to ensure that young people within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have access to condoms as well as advice and guidance from trained professionals. Condoms are available free of charge to young people aged 13 to 19 years who live in or visit the borough frequently.

Current C-CARD sites are:

Sexually transmitted infections

STIs affect both sexes. STIs can be either viruses or bacteria, and are passed on during sex. There are 25 types of STIs, some of which can be acquired without having sexual contact.

Things can go wrong and mistakes can be made. So if you didn't use protection at all, the condom split or you forgot to take your contraceptive pill, then you've had unprotected sex and you are at risk of pregnancy and STIs.

The best thing to do is to act fast. The sooner you act, the less likely you are to get pregnant, contract an STI, or pass on any infections you may have picked up from someone else.

If you are sexually active, or want to get tested, you can find your local GUM (genitourinary medicine clinic) that specialises in sexual health.

Your visit will be kept confidential and will not be shared with your GP.

What happens during a visit?

Typically, you will be asked some questions about your medical and sexual history as well as contact details for your results.

Examples of some questions about your sex life include:

  • when you last had sex
  • whether you have had unprotected sex
  • whether you have any symptoms
  • why you think you might have an infection

 

STI tests

The tests might involve:

  • a urine (pee) sample that tests for chlamydia and gonorrhoea;
  • blood sample to test for HIV and syphilis and 
  • swabs from the vagina
  • examination of the genital area

 

The NHS 'Visiting an STI clinic' has more detailed information on testing for the chlamydia, HIV, herpes, syphilis and gonorrhoea.

Getting your results

You can get results on the same day with some tests but most of the results are delivered by post in an unmarked envelope or by text.  If you test positive for any infection, you will be asked to go back to the clinic to talk about your results and your treatment.