• STI postal kits are currently delayed due to a temporary postal issue. Please allow up to 21 days for test kits to arrive.  Chlamydia & Gonorrhoea test kits can be picked up from main reception at Unity Central Health Clinic between 09:00 and 16:00 If you urgently need a blood test, or have symptoms, please call 01173426900


Bad case of diarrhoea? Maybe its Shigella…

Shigella causes severe diarrhoea and its often mistaken for food poisoning. Its caught from bacteria in poo getting into your mouth during sex.

Gay and bisexual men are particularly at risk.

  • What are the symptoms?
    • Diarrhoea lasting more than 48 hours (often with blood in it).
    • Stomach cramps
    • Fever

    Symptoms usually start within 4 days of getting infected.

  • How is Shigella spread?

    Very easily.

    All it takes is for a tiny amount of bacteria to get into your mouth.

  • How can I avoid getting Shigella from sex?
    • Wash your hands (and bottom and penis too if you can) during and after sex, especially if you’re rimming, fisting, fingering or handling condoms and sex toys or changing condoms between anal and oral sex.
    • Using condoms for anal sex and latex gloves for fingering or fisting. A condom can be cut into a square to make a barrier for rimming.
    • Don’t share sex toys or douching equipment.
  • What should I do if I think I might have Shigella?

    Shigella infection can be easily managed. Often it gets better on its own, but sometimes you will require antibiotics.

    Visit your doctor (GP) or local sexual health clinic. You can contact Unity here for an appointment.

    You should also:

    • Drink plenty of fluids
    • Not go back to work until Shigella has been ruled out by a doctor, especially if work involved handling food or contact with patients.
    • Not have sex until 1 week after symptoms have settled.
    • Avoid sharing towels.
    • Avoid swimming pools/spas/hot tubs until 1 week after symptoms have settled.

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