National HIV/STI/TB Programme

Government of Jamaica 

Overview of Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections which are transmitted during vaginal, anal or oral sex.  STIs are serious and painful and can cause major health problems.  Some STIs infect the sexual and reproductive organs; others (such as HIV and syphilis) can be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy and child birth.  Most STIs can be cured if you get treated early.  Sometimes, you can have STIs with no signs or symptoms.  At other times the symptoms will go away without treatment but you still have the STIs and you must get treatment in order to get rid of the STIs.


How to Recognize Sexually Transmitted Infections

The following common symptoms may occur in infected men and women:

  • A drip or unusual discharge from the sex organ
  • Sores, bumps or blisters on or near the sex organs anus or mouth
  • Burning pain when you urinate (pee) or have a bowel movement
  • A swelling or redness in your throat
  • Swelling in your groin, the area around your sex organs.

Additionally, women may have the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the area between your belly bottom and sex organs
  • Burning or itching around your vagina
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods
  • Pain deep inside the vagina when you have sex

If you think you have an STI, please visit a health care provider.  Most health centres, clinics, private doctors and hospitals treat STIs.  No matter where you get treated, your condition will be kept confidential.  Remember to follow your health care provider’s instructions carefully and do not share or take medication from other persons.


STIs that Cause Discharge

The following STIs may cause genital discharge:

  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Bacterial Vaginosis
  • Trichomoniasis


STIs can Cause Genital Sores

The following STIs may cause genital sores:

  • Chancroid
  • Genital Herpes
  • Syphilis
  • Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV)
  • Granuloma Inguinale (GI)