Category: Pillow Talk

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) – the silent, sometimes unseen infections that are spreading rapidly in the United Kingdom

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can include bacteria, viruses or parasites.  For example, chlamydia is a bacterial infection that is found in sexual fluids in males and females.  Most people who have chlamydia do not have any symptoms and therefore do not know they have it unless they get tested.  It can be successfully treated with antibiotics but if left undiagnosed it can lead to infertility or an ectopic pregnancy in women and fertility problems in men.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

The number of recorded cases of STIs is steadily rising and while there is a greater awareness and knowledge of testing for these conditions, the spread of STIs in younger adults is increasing as they are less likely to use protection and have multiple sexual partners.

Most sexually transmitted infections have an incubation period when the person has the infection but even when tested will not show up, this varies from days to weeks to months and it is recommended that a person waits at least two weeks from their last sexual encounter before they are tested.

How do you know you have an STI?

In many cases if you have no STI symptoms you will not know you have an STI so you need to be tested to be sure.  For others there are obvious symptoms that will tell you something is not right, these can include; rashes or itchiness in the genital area, a discharge from the penis or vagina, pain when going to the loo or having sex and lumps or sores.

If you have ever had unprotected sex you should really have an STI test.  If you think you may have an infection the best way to get the right diagnosis and treatment to take a sexual health test.

If your worried about Sexually Transmitted Infections contact our team or read more about confidante!

Have you and your partner been tested for STIs? Be safe and #TakeTheTest before starting a family

Have you and your partner been tested? A lot of us think that STIs don’t apply to us and never will. We’re “too clean”, “haven’t had enough sexual partners”, or “aren’t ‘sleazy’ enough”. When in fact, the most hygienic, and ‘un-sleazy’ person can become infected with an STI after partaking in a single sexual act – even if it’s their first!

Sexual health is crucially important and something that we should all keep on top of, but never is your sexual health more imperative than when the time comes to start a family and you are no longer the only one at risk. Many STIs can pose a serious threat to your baby’s health during development, delivery, and even after birth. Taking this into consideration, plus the fact that many STIs are symptom-free, it’s time to #TakeTheTest if you’re planning on starting a family.


Chlamydia is one of the better known STIs, yet many people don’t understand the risks it presents during pregnancy. New-borns who are exposed to chlamydia are at risk of serious eye infections and pneumonia. Even more worryingly, the possibility of a miscarriage and premature delivery is increased significantly.


A very common STI, gonorrhoea symptoms, can cause vaginal discharge, burning while passing urine, and abdominal pain if present during pregnancy. Similar to the risks associated with chlamydia, the chance of a mother miscarrying or having a preterm delivery is higher with an untreated gonorrhoea infection present. What’s more, an active infection during child birth can result in the baby developing blindness, joint infection, or a life threatening blood infection.


Syphilis is harder to identify than other STIs, diagnosed most effectively using a swab from a sore or blister instead of a urine sample, and is easily passed from a mother to her unborn child. Infants can be premature and victim to a serious infection that can be fatal. If those risks weren’t bone-chilling enough – new-borns that survive syphilis often develop problems in various organs including their brain, heart, and eyes.


Herpes infections differ in that they are relatively risk free until labour. Contact between mother and baby during delivery however can pass the incurable STI onto the new-born. As a result, many women infected with herpes have a caesarean section to prevent the risk of transmission.

The Randox Confidante home STI test kit allows you and your partner to safeguard your unborn baby from the comfort of your own home; testing simultaneously for 10 STIs, including both the above common infections and those that are less well known. When your STI test kit arrives, collect a urine/swab sample, post your samples back using the pre-paid envelopes provided, and receive your confidential results within 7 days.


If your worreid abourt your seual health or your partner is, get confidante so you’ll know that your safe because been tested, don’t let the question have you and your partner been tested hang over you!

Sexually transmitted infections in men who have sex with men (MSM) at ‘crisis level’

MSM: STI rates among men who have sex with men continue to increase across the UK despite campaigns by health authorities to tackle the increase. The latest available figures show that in England during 2012 there were 36,000 new diagnoses of STIs in MSM, including more than 10,000 cases of gonorrhoea. Worryingly, one of the UK’s leading GUM clinicians; Dr Wallace Dinsmore says this is just the tip of the iceberg: “We have evidence to suggest that the 850,000 MSM in the UK are at greater risk of infection than other groups. Not only is gonorrhoea increasing among MSM, syphilis is also a significant problem and these statistics which are from two years ago, do not represent the true scale of the problem we face today.”

The rise in STIs among men who have sex with men was described as at ‘crisis levels’ ahead of a specially convened meeting of UK sexual health experts in London. During the Valentine’s Day conference, which was organised by the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV(BASSH), medics discussed the paradox that; increased infection rates of STIs could be because of the increasingly successful treatments available for HIV, as Dr Martin Crockard from Confidante explains: “The progress in HIV drugs has been nothing short of dramatic, but unfortunately more men are having unprotected sex because they feel they don’t have to shield themselves from the virus – other STIs are then spread. Testing is the key to detection and ultimately to prevention and is especially important because STIs like gonorrhoea, syphilis and chlamydia are predominately asymptomatic. This is indeed becoming a public health crisis.”

The ‘crisis’ goes hand-in-hand with the low uptake of sexual health testing by men who have sex with men. According to a recent survey by BASSH, more than a quarter of gay and bisexual men have never been tested. A spokesman for the association says that following last month’s meeting its experts are working on a recommendation paper in order to encourage more men to get tested: “MSM who do not present for STI testing are significantly more likely to be unaware that they have an infection, and therefore represent a much greater risk of onward transmission – a clear public health concern.” MSM seeking STI testing can now do so in the privacy of their own home, with the new Confidante Home STI Testing Kit – the available over the counter product to detect 10 of the most common STIs, from just one sample

Don’t dull-down your Golden Years…STIs on the up in the elderly

STIs on the up in the elderly: Retirement homes, nursing homes and assisted living communities. Images that spring to mind include playing bingo, ballroom dancing and puzzles strewn about a table. But, perhaps surprisingly, sex – unsafe sex – is on a lot of people’s minds. The US Department of Health and Human Services has released figures from 2011 and 2012 showing that over 2.2 million Medicare beneficiaries underwent sexually transmitted infection screenings and counselling sessions.

The CDC has also shown that between 2007 and 2011, the amount of chlamydia infections in over 65s had risen by 31% and by 52% in syphilis infections. The numbers are in a similar vein to the 20-24 year old age group, where chlamydia rates increased by 35% and syphilis by 64%. There is a similar story in the UK, where an increasing number of middle-aged and elderly individuals contracting STIs has been attributed in part to: a high divorce rate, and the availability of drugs to assist male sexual performance. Some other factors which are thought to be behind the rise of STIs in elderly populations include:

  • Retirement communities becoming more like university campuses – by having many people of the same age living together, relationships will naturally occur.
  • People are living longer and are in better health, therefore remaining sexually active for longer.
  • Whilst they may be having more sex, they are not necessarily having safe sex. They don’t need to worry about pregnancy and only 6% of those aged over 60 use a condom.

With statistics like these, it falls to reason that STI testing should be more prevalent in elderly health screenings.

Whilst they are willing to have regular, unprotected sex, they may not be as open to talking about their sexual health with doctors. A larger campaign, raising awareness of the risks of STIs amongst the elderly, could help address this issue.

Confidante, a home STI test kit which tests for 10 of the most common STIs, would help alleviate the problem. By being able to receive your results quickly, and most importantly, in confidence, the elderly are maintaining their independence and preserving their sexual health. Confidante STI Test is available for purchase in the UK and Ireland.

Safe sex message urged ahead of this year’s Belfast Pride Festival

Safe Sex: Sexual health experts are supporting Belfast Pride, to make sure that everyone taking part in this year’s festival; ‘plays safe and stays safe’. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at particular risk of sexually transmitted infections; latest available statistics from the Department of Health reveal that rates of gonorrhoea and syphilis in Northern Ireland’s MSM community continue to soar.

To tackle the problem, Belfast Pride has teamed up with Confidante STI Test, who have developed the world’s only home test, to detect 10 common STIs. Stephen Henderson, Manager at Confidante STI Test, says partnering with Belfast Pride, is about encouraging men who have sex with men to take action:

“One of the reasons that men who have sex with men, have such high STI transmission rates, is because they don’t get tested; perhaps they’ve had a bad experience previously; or perhaps they aren’t showing any symptoms – even though they are infected; many STIs are asymptomatic. We are encouraging MSM and everyone taking part in Belfast Pride to be proud of their sexual health, protect both their partner and themselves and to get tested.”

Seán Ó Néill, Chair of Belfast Pride Festival, is supporting this focus on Sexual Health:

“This year’s festival is about celebrating Diversity and calling for Equality – and this equality is needed within healthcare services for all citizens including LGBTQ people. We are pleased Confidante STI Test is coming on board as a partner of the festival and offering more choice in Sexual Health testing and we are working with them to get the message across to the MSM community in Northern Ireland, in particular, to play safe and stay safe”.

The safe sexual health message comes ahead of the launch of this year’s Belfast Pride, at Belfast City Hall this evening (Friday), the launch will be followed by the eagerly anticipated Pride Awards hosted by Barra Best and comedian Gemma Hutton.

STIs amongst women who have sex with women (WSW)

WSW – Women who have sex with women (WSW) are a diverse group of individuals in society; with variations in sexual identity, behaviours, practices & risk behaviours. The world of sexual health risks amongst this group however, is poorly understood.

Studies have shown WSW are at particular risk of viral & bacterial STIs, including Chlamydia, Syphilis & Herpes Virus Type 1 & Type 2. These STIs can be caught when exchanging bodily fluids & such transmission is possible amongst this diverse group.

In addition to this, there were 1,713 cases of diagnosed STIs amongst WSW in 2012. Such figures should not be ignored, & for that reason women who have sex with women should be evaluated & presented in the same way as women who have male-only partners.

Many WSW believe they are at low or no risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), yet according to the facts, this is far from the truth. In reality, women who have sex with women are at a similar, although slightly lower, risk of STIs as heterosexual women, & therefore it is very important to get tested. The worry here however is that women who have sex with women are known to access the healthcare system less frequently compared to heterosexual women.

Despite this lack of knowledge amongst these women, they are not entirely to blame when it comes to obtaining the correct facts and figures in terms of their sexual health. It is indeed difficult for WSW to obtain information on sexual health which is directly relevant to their sexual orientations. The main reason for this is the obvious social & institutional barriers that WSW face when they are trying to access healthcare. A surprising 75% of WSW delayed obtaining healthcare for reasons including the stigma attached. The confidentiality & anonymous nature of Confidante provides a solution to this.

Confidante STI Test is the first over the counter product that allows consumers to take control of their sexual health in the privacy of their own home. We provide a solution to this problem of social & institutional barriers, taking the embarrassing aspect out of the equation. Our discreet, home STI test kit can be carried out at home, in private, in 4 easy steps:

  1. Order online/purchase in store pharmacies
  2. Collect the sample
  3. Post back
  4. Receive results (within 7 days).

Look after your sexual health & take the Confidante STI test today.

Home STI test kits are not all the same?

Home STI test: If you have decided to take a home STI test you have taken the first step in checking your sexual health. Most STIs do not have symptoms so you might not even know you have a sexual infection until you have been tested.

Don’t delay, order one today, but which one, there are so many to choose from, some test for one sexual transmitted infection and some check for many, some are for men, some for women and some both sexes can use, there is just too much choice.

Not now, here at we have compiled the first comparison chart of home STI testing kits available to buy online. It lists the number of STI tests they test for, the names of the sexual transmitted infections, which gender they are suitable for, the cost of the kit and the cost per test to give you a complete accurate comparison of home STI test kits. Please see below.

Product/CompanyNumber of testsTests coveredSuitable for:PriceCost per test
Confidante STI Test10 testsChlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, Herpes simplex I, Herpes simplex II, Tichomonas vaginalis, Mycoplasma hominis, Mycoplasma genitalium, Ureaplasma urealticum & ChancroidMen and women£85.00£8.50
Lloyds Pharmacy (Online Doctor)1 testChlamydiaMen and women£30.00£30.00
2 testsBuy test now -Chlamydia & GonorrhoeaMen and women£47.99£24.00
1 testGonorrhoeaMen and women£29.50£29.50
3 testsSilver screen test (Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea & HIV)Men and women£74.99£25.00
4 testsPlatinum test (Chlamydia, Gonorhhoea, Trichomonas & Gardnerella)Men and women£115.00£28.75
2 testsMan2Man STI test (covers genital, rectal and oral chlamydia and gonorrhoea.)Men only£89.99£45.00
The STI Clinic1 testChlamydiaMen and women£29.95£29.95
1 testGonorrhoeaMen and women£29.95£29.95
2 testsChlamydia & GonorrhoeaMen and women£39.95£19.98
2 testsThroat Chlamydia/GonorrhoeaMen and women£39.95£19.98
2 testsRectal Chlamydia/GonorrhoeaMen and women£39.95£19.98
1 test4 hour Chlamydia checkMen and women£59.95£59.95
2 test4 hour Gonorrhoea checkMen and women£59.95£29.98
3 test4 hour Combination testMen and women£69.95£23.32
2 testsFast throat swab (Chlamydia & Gonorrhoea)Men and women£69.95£34.98
1 testHerpes screenMen and women£59.95£59.95
1 testGardnerella testMen and women£69.95£69.95
1 testTrichomonas testMen and women£69.95£69.95
1 testVaginitis testMen and women£89.95£89.95
1 testMycoplasma screenMen and women£64.95£64.95
1 testUreaplasma screenMen and women£69.00£69.00
2 testsMycoplasma/Ureaplasma testMen and women£119.95£59.98
1 testSyphilis blood screenMen and women£39.95£39.95
2 testsSyphilis/Herpes swabMen and women£99.95£49.98
2 testsHepatitis B & C screenMen and women£69.95£34.98
3 testsTriple blood screen – covers Syphilis, Hepatitis B & CMen and women£89.95£29.98
8 testsFull STI screen – covers Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Herpes simplex I & II, as well as 4 common baterial infectionsMen and women£149.95£18.74
12 testsFull Screen Plus – covers Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Herpes simplex I & II, as well as 4 common baterial infections. Also covers HIV, Syphilis, Hep B & CMen and women£239.95£20.00
16 testsFull Screen Extended – covers Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Herpes simplex I & II, as well as 4 common baterial infections. Also covers HIV, Syphilis, Hep B & C, Chlamydia throat & rectal swab, Gonorrhoea throat & rectal swabMen and women£295.95£18.50
4 testsMSM basic screen (covers HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhoea & Chlamydia (includes Chlamydia & Gonorrhoea in the throat, rectum and genitals).Men only£149.95£37.49
12 testsMSM enhanced screen (covers HIV, Hep B & C, Syphilis and everything covered by the Full Screen).Men only£295.95£24.66
The GUM Clinic1 testChlamydiaMen and women£29.95£29.95
1 testGonorrhoeaMen and women£29.95£29.95
2 testsChlamydia and GonorrhoeaMen and women£39.95£19.98
2 testsHerpes simplex I & IIMen and women£59.95£29.98
3 testsSyphilis and Herpes simplex I & IIMen and women£99.95£33.32
1 testTrichomoniasisMen and women£69.95£69.95
2 testsGardnerella / Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)Men and women£69.95£34.98
1 testMycoplasma genitaliumMen and women£69.95£69.95
1 testUreaplasma urealyticumMen and women£69.95£69.95
2 testsMycoplasma genitalium and Ureaplasma urealyticumMen and women£109.95£54.98
8 testsFull STI Screen – Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Herpes 1 & 2, Ureaplasma, Mycoplasma genitalium, Trichomonas, Gardnerella VaginalisMen and women£149.95£18.74
Just Between Us1 testChlamydia testMen and women£19.00£19.00
2 testsCombined Chlamydia/GonorrhoeaMen and women£25.00£12.50
Better To Know1 testChlamydia (urine)Men and women£30.00£30.00
2 testsChlamydia and Gonorrhoea (urine)Men and women£45.00£22.50
2 testsChlamydia and Gonorrhoea (swab)Men and women£45.00£22.50
7 testsComfort Screen: Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Herpes (Current Infection), Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Gardnerella and Trichomonas (urine)Men and women£149.00£21.29
2 testsHerpes simplex I & II (blood)Men and women£70.00£35.00
3 testsPeace of Mind Screen: Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis (blood and urine)Men and women£99.00£33.00
3 testsWellbeing Screen: Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and HIV (blood and urine)Men and women£99.00£33.00
7 testsFull Screen: HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma (blood and urineMen and women£199.00£28.43
9 testsConfidence Screen (full screen + 2 swabs for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea)Men and women£249.00£27.67
123 Home Test2 testsChlamydia and GonorrheaMen and women£29.95£14.98
4 testsComplete STI Package – Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, HerpesMen and women£55.95£13.99
5 testsSTD test women total: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes, Bacterial vaginosisWomen only£64.95£12.99
Test.me10 testsSTI Screen – Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Trichomonas vaginalis, Treponema Pallidum (Syphilis), Herpes simplex I, Herpes simplex II, Mycoplasma hominis, Mycoplasma genitalium, Ureaplasm Urealyticum and Haemophilus DucreyiMen and women£99.00£9.90
1 testHPV Screen – High Risk HPV Types 18 and 16, 12 Other High Risk HPV TypesMen and women£49.99£49.99
2 testsChlamydia and GonorrhoeaMen and women£24.99£12.50
1 testChlamydiaMen and women£19.99£19.99

STI Testing

Home STI testing is becoming much more prevalent and the advances in home STI testing kits has come on significantly in the last few years. When people think about home test kits, they usually think of simple, home pregnancy testing kits where the user takes the test in their own home and they get a result there and then. This works well for pregnancy tests which only look for one hormone in urine.

Sexually transmitted infections can be more complex than this and depending on the STI involved, the person will be required to supply a urine sample or urine and a swab sample. To be collected neither sample requires a trained nurse or medical practitioner and can be carried out by anyone in the privacy of their own home. Sample collection is non-invasive and easy to do.
To guarantee the accuracy and reliability of the sexual transmitted infections tests the sample or samples need to be posted to a laboratory where complex laboratory tests are carried out to determine if any STIs are present in the sample. Most STIs can be treated quickly and easily with an antibiotic.

Advantages of multiple STI tests

How do you know which STI test to take? Have you self-diagnosed based on your symptoms, what about co-infections? You may not even know you have an STI as many are asymptomatic, which test should you take? These are all questions you should ask yourself before you decide which home STI test you should take. You may choose to take a single chlamydia test but what if you had a co-infection, this single chlamydia test would not detect it and you may go on to pass this to a partner. Therefore the more STI tests you get checked for at once the better, then you can be completely confidante that you are STI free and will not pass infections onto sexual partners.

Who should take an STI test?

Quite simply; anyone that has ever had unprotected sex should take an STI test. You or your partner may have an STI and not know it, it is much better to take a test and know for definite. If you have just come out of a relationship and are thinking about starting a new one you should take an STI test. As more mature people come out of long term relationships and marriages they may choose to start a new relationship, the risk of STIs should not be underestimated. Later in life when pregnancy is not as much of a concern unprotected sex can still lead to sexually transmitted infections.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) undetected

STIs can be left undetected by many people due to there not being any obvious symptoms; this does not mean that they are not causing damage. Undetected STIs can affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant, cause further infections or affect a man’s ability to get an erection.
Cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are increasing. If you have unprotected sex, your health is at risk. Find out what symptoms to look out for and how to stay safe.

Rather check your privates in private or on a dance floor?

Rather check your privates in private? Picture the scene; you are out with your friends in a club, having a drink, enjoying a laugh and you see your dream woman not too far away from where you are standing. You have been making eye contact and you have got a smile back, all without your mates who, if they noticed would embarrass the life out of you. She is with her friends as well, they seem to be having a good time, lots of laughs and the drinks seem to be flowing. You think, ‘plenty of time to make my move’ and you have already got a smile so what could go wrong, life is good!

Fast forward an hour, the club is filling up, you and your mates have enjoyed a few more drinks and you and your friends and the girls group have gradually been pushed together on the edge of the dance floor, you are not dancing but you are ‘shuffling’ as you and your mates like to call it. Things are going well, you have got talking to ‘Andrea’ and she seems nice, it’s going to be a good night.

Then suddenly, there is a dog with a handler in front of you sniffing your crotch!! What is going on, then, a tap on the shoulder form the handler, this is getting weird. The handler announces that “You may have an STI”. This is in front of your mates and Andrea! You are led away. Mortified, your mates are doubled over laughing.

Picture a second scene; You took a home STI test two weeks ago to check your sexual health, you ordered it online, the kits arrived, you posted your sample back then got your results and you got the all clear on all ten STIs tested for. You go to your local club on Saturday night with two of your mates and you see Andrea, drinks, chat, shuffling, you get to speak to Andrea and get on brilliantly.

A dog and handler arrive at your side and they walk straight past you and stop with one of your mates and the handler announces to your mate that he may have an STI!! He gets led away; you get to stay with Andrea, which scene would you rather be in??

Always check your privates in private, not in front of your mates or your dream girl on a dance floor! I know which scene I would rather be in, do you?

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