Series about life at a Manchester STI clinic. John hopes he won't be diagnosed with chlamydia for a fourth time and student Ben proves to his girlfriend that he's still STI-free.
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This programme contains some strong language.
Britain is in the grip of an epidemic
of sexually transmitted infections.
-Everyone's shagged everyone.
Behind every rash, lump and itch...
Men will come in with pus coming out everywhere.
-You said there's some itching around the back passage as well?
..is a patient terrified they may have caught an STI.
What is scabies?
This series follows the staff as they treat
patients at the Manchester Centre for Sexual Health.
Some of the things you see, especially
when you see like herpes and warts, some look really nasty.
I'm going celibate!
And we work with the clinic to invite Manchester's young people
to get checked out.
-Was it protected or unprotected?
One, two, three.
That has actually come back positive for gonorrhoea.
Before learning how the fall out from unprotected sex...
It's going up in increments, next you'll have syphilis with holes in your cock.
I feel like it's ruined my life.
Hey, I just wanted to get my results.
..and their relationships.
I got someone pregnant not long ago.
I'm absolutely gobsmacked you just told me that.
This week, ladies man John makes a shocking confession.
-I've had chlamydia three times.
An open relationship leaves Adele wide open to infection.
Calling because I just got a message from the clinic.
And Dan reflects on the choices that led him to contract HIV.
It was a decision I was making
and it ultimately was the wrong one.
It's 8am at the Manchester Centre for Sexual Health,
and the floodgates are about to open.
It's the beginning of the day - yay!
Hi, this is Alison, one of the nurses. Can I help you?
Whether they've been left with a nasty surprise by an ex,
or have a horrible holiday memento,
nearly 100 patients a day come here seeking help.
Hiya. Have you got an appointment? Have you been here before?
Receptionist Claire is the friendly face in charge
of the clinic's STI guest list.
The next slot I've got is at 3.10.
Once you've opened the doors, they form a queue,
and it goes straight round and out the doors back onto the main road.
Demand for the service from Manchester's lust-filled young people is booming.
Some mornings, by 10 o'clock all the slots have gone.
So, every day is different. It's always busy, though.
Through the clinic doors today are three mates from Manchester,
John, Roo and Ben.
It's been six months and a lot of unprotected sex since
any of them got tested and even they can't decide who's most at risk.
Cos you've not been tested since America,
and that's about a year ago.
But I know if I have got something, who's give it me, though.
I don't even know. I'd have a list about as long as me arm to tell.
Just be sat there like, "Oh." Never had any symptoms, nothing.
Have you? No, nothing.
Loads of symptoms.
I've had burning sometimes.
I remember when you said to me that you had green discharge coming out the end of yours.
Got to clean yourself more often!
If you're young, free and single, Manchester has a lot to offer,
and John and his mates try to take full advantage.
I don't necessarily say that I'm going out on the pull,
but...it just happens.
I get proper shy apart from when I'm by myself doing
some cheeky little sexy dancing.
He can watch and learn, but I'm not going to sit down and teach you!
John's casual attitude to casual sex means
he could easily have caught an STI.
But with many of them treatable,
it's only certain infections that seem to worry him.
Just the ones you can't get rid of.
Obviously, hepatitis and AIDS and stuff like that.
That'd be obviously pretty grim.
I don't... I'm hoping I've not got anything like that,
I don't think I have.
I'd be devastated, to be honest. It's horrible, isn't it?
OK, when you have sex with your partners, do you give them oral sex?
-Please, I know it's really embarrassing, I know we've only just met.
Are you allergic to anything at all that you know of?
-Cats. But no medication.
-But I don't have sex with cats, though.
-No, you don't. That's fine.
I wasn't going to ask you that! But thanks for letting me know. That's fine.
It isn't just the questions that are making Roo squirm.
For a man covered in tattoos, he has a surprising phobia.
Scared man, like, I hate injections,
so I don't really want to get my blood took.
You need to keep really, really still. OK?
It's not. Only the tip goes in.
Have a look at a leaflet.
Right, keep still for me, yeah? Just keep calm, it's fine.
It's been over a year since Ben last got tested.
I don't really like doing things like this,
but got to do it, really, ain't ya?
And it's not the only thing he's been putting off.
When did you last pass urine?
Um, this morning, about 8, 9 o clock.
-You've not had a wee since then?
-Oh, my gosh!
-Right, OK, that's fine. Good grief, you're like camels!
Ben should have no problem filling the sample pot.
He's been holding it in for nearly 10 hours.
There's a shelf in there, leave it on the shelf,
and I'll grab it from there when you're done, OK?
-Cool, how much do you want me to fill it?
-Well, you're probably going to be overflowing, aren't you!
You'll get them in at 11 o'clock in the morning,
and they'll say they haven't peed since they went to bed the night before,
and you're thinking, "How can that be possible?
"Your bladder must be out here!"
And then they're sitting there going like this...ooh!
You're trying to get through your thing cos you know they're desperate to wee.
Have you ever had sex with another man?
Have you ever shared needles?
Er, tattoo needles, I have done, yeah.
When you have sex with your partners, do you give them oral sex?
Sometimes. Right. And do you receive any anal sex?
-Do I receive?
-Yeah. We ask everybody this question.
How many partners have you had in the last three months?
Er, four or five.
-Four to five in the last three months.
Do you use condoms when you have sex?
John's admissions are a familiar story at the clinic.
It's one of the reasons over 6,000 STIs
are diagnosed every week in the UK.
And obviously the more partners you have, the more at risk
-you are of having an infection.
And that could be gonorrhoea, could be syphilis, could be
HIV or chlamydia, you know, so...
So stop. Use protection.
No, don't stop having sex, but just, you know, think about your future, think about your health.
Just look after yourself.
Loved-up Adele has got just got back from a two week love in with
her toy-boy Eddy in Australia.
Had a fantastic time.
I was very teary when I had to leave and come home.
We met in Thailand at Christmas.
We'd sort of had discussions about the fact that
we lived on the other side of the world, um,
there's quite a bit of an age difference between us, and we're at different stages
in our lives, so we decided just to keep an open relationship.
But at the same time, I didn't really want him
to be with anyone else, and I did, um, kind of worry about him
being with other people, and you can't help but get a bit jealous.
But right now, jealousy is the least of her worries.
While I was away, I got pain on urination and I started
getting a really itchy feeling down below and I started to get
a bloody discharge, which hasn't cleared up,
so I wanted to get it checked out.
Adele and her boyfriend have now decided to become exclusive,
but if Eddy has already passed on an STI,
it could put a prick in their love bubble.
How long have you had the symptoms of the bloody discharge?
For about four days.
The itchiness, that's been going on for more than a week.
When was the last time you had sex?
About 48 hours ago.
Her symptoms could be a sign of herpes,
gonorrhoea or chlamydia, so Dr Chitra wants to take a closer look.
I've got the speculum here. You know, only this bit goes in.
So now is when I need you to take deep breaths in and out.
Now, with my two fingers, which are much smaller than that
plastic instrument, feel the neck of your womb.
That's great, well done, Adele. Just going to lower the bed.
Chitra has some concerns with what she's seen.
When I examined you there was a bit of redness
round the vulva down below,
and also around the region, OK?
With like a couple of cracks in skin,
which is very suggestive of thrush, yeah?
On the other hand, the discharge, which there was a bit of,
there was no blood at all, it didn't look typically like thrush,
so we're going to have a look under the microscope
to see if we can see anything, but, regardless of that,
I'm going to give you some treatment for thrush, anyway.
Great, have a good day, Adele.
Thank you very much.
Adele's test results won't be back for up to a fortnight.
She and her boyfriend face an anxious wait to find out
if he's infected her with an STI.
After months of unprotected sex, John and his mates
are finally getting tested.
And how many sexual partners have you had in the last three months?
Um, about 10, 15, I'd say.
With the partners, these 10 partners,
are you using condoms with these?
Some. Some sometimes.
-So when you say some, how many?
-About three, four maybe.
So, three of them protected and seven unprotected, OK.
Roo survived the needle,
but now he's worrying in case he needs a penile swab.
-Have you got any questions?
-How come you don't do the umbrella thing any more?
We don't ever use an umbrella, that's a myth.
-I've had one, it was like zook, straight down.
-A loop, we use a little loop.
-It looked like one of them things that you blow bubbles with?
-Yes, that's right.
We use a tiny little loop, not quite as big as something that you blow bubbles with,
but we only use those if you've got symptoms.
Fortunately for Roo, he has no symptoms,
so he won't need a swab, umbrella-sized or not.
The myth of the umbrella.
I mean, what we swab with is, it is like a thing
that you use for blowing bubbles, obviously not quite as big,
all it is, is a little loop.
So, when we're testing men that have
got symptoms, we just pop it in the urethra, take a swab and that's it.
It's not an umbrella, it's not a great big massive thing that
scrapes up the urethra - that's it, basically.
Swabs and needles should be the least of the lads' worries.
While most STIs can be easily treated,
they could still have a lasting impact on their lives.
-Have you had an infection before?
-Yeah. Chlamydia, three times.
The more times you have a sexual infection,
the more at risk you are of problems.
It's something you need to think about.
-Um, for your long-term health, really.
Where do you want it?
Just pop it in me tray.
-That's your test done.
So we've tested you for gonorrhoea, chlamydia, HIV, syphilis,
hepatitis C and hepatitis B, OK?
-Takes two to three weeks for everything to come back.
As soon as we get your test results, we text you, OK?
-Do you need any condoms?
Yeah, go on, then. Please.
-I'll go and get you some.
When I do anything like this,
I feel like an old bag trying to ruin their fun,
which I'm not, but sometimes they don't think about the implications
of what they do, and it's just,
"Oh, chlamydia, I can get it treated, it's not a problem."
But when they have a lot to drink,
when they're out on the town, you know...and it's easy done.
They're just enjoying themselves, they throw their cares to the wind
and just have sex, basically,
and don't think about the repercussions.
-There you go.
Got your little bag of goodies there.
-And they're no use staying in there.
-No, I know.
-You need to use them.
Think about the girls that you see, their health,
and think about your own as well.
-OK and we'll be in touch with your results.
-All right, cheers.
-That all right?
-Is that it then, yeah?
-Yeah. Look after yourself.
-You too, cheers.
-OK, see you now. Bye-bye.
'I'm not too worried, to be honest with you.
'There's no point worrying until you know, is there?'
John and his mates will get their results back in a fortnight.
How come you got condoms?
Cos we asked for them, cos we've got a sex drive and you don't.
They face the prospect of being diagnosed with HIV, syphilis,
gonorrhoea or chlamydia...again.
Why was you so long, though?
-Giving a list of girls?
I had to answer loads of questions, didn't I?
A bag of condoms could be too little, too late.
The boys have left, but Fiona
is having a wee problem with Ben's sample.
-The urine is not in the toilet where he left it.
-Do you know where it is?
The cleaners have taken the piss... literally.
So he's not weed since 8 o'clock this morning,
then we get the wee that he's been hanging on to all day...
bloody in the bin!
Loved-up Adele doesn't yet know
if her boyfriend from down under has infected her down below.
I kind of did have the thought in the back of my mind,
perhaps it's an STI, um...
because I think the symptoms of chlamydia and gonorrhoea
can have, you know, burning sensation when you're peeing as well.
Hi, how's your day going?
Um, OK. I went to the GUM clinic
and got myself checked out.
Was it kind of a bit embarrassing, or a bit weird?
It's just like, you know,
I've gotta get undressed behind a little screen
and sit with my legs up in the air
and my bits revealed to them, which isn't the nicest thing in the world.
The only thing that is slightly concerning me
is she said the discharge that I have wasn't, sort of, normal for thrush.
So I guess there could be something else but hopefully that's...it's not.
You're OK, aren't you?
Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. That's good.
-Yeah, I suppose if something happened to you
and something negative came back, then I'd get myself looked at.
Yeah, we'll wait and see.
Er, I've gotta go now, honey.
-Love you lots.
It would be nice if he was here
and he could've come to the clinic with me. That would've been nicer,
but I guess it's just something I've got to do on my own.
It's a situation I've got myself in.
Student Ben recently had a drunken one-night-stand
whilst on a break from his girlfriend.
Good start to the day that, lad. How are ya?
Now they're back together, she's slapped him with a sex ban
until he can prove he doesn't have an STI.
Not that his mate, Kalvin, has much sympathy.
She said I had to get tested.
You should always use a condom.
I'm pretty sure I did but I was quite drunk, so I'm not 100% sure.
Well, it's better to be safe than sorry, isn't it? Are you nervous?
Not really, like I say, I'm pretty sure everything should be OK.
But what you going to do if it ain't?
Take some medication.
Yeah, I mean, not that you can tell by looking,
but did she seem like she kept herself...
I dunno, I was drunk that's what I'm saying.
But, yeah, she didn't seem like she was currently dying.
So she wasn't, like, arrrgh? Like all over the place?
-And you weren't thinking,
"Oh, god, she probably hasn't had a bath in ten years."
-I wasn't that drunk.
The last thing I remember is doing shots at the bar with my friend
and I vaguely remember leaving the club and she must've been there.
Are you sure you didn't, like, grab some random woman
and just have your way with her?
Not saying you're that sort of person!
I'm not some sort of barbarian invader.
Just... I'm not some sort of Viking warrior
rampaging through the country stealing women.
Well, you are from Leeds...
Oh, well, yeah. It's the same thing.
All right, if you had to pick one out of all of them, which would it be?
-If you had to have one.
-Chlamydia. I'm sure one of my friends had it
and he just took some antibiotics.
Cos I think you look like more of syphilis man.
Yeah, but what if she had AIDS?
You could have AIDS!
If he does have HIV, or any other STI,
he'll need a very understanding girlfriend,
or he could find himself on a permanent break.
For some people, coming to the clinic can be awkward or embarrassing.
For others, it's simply impossible.
The clinic runs a weekly outreach programme
to provide sexual healthcare for patients
currently detained at Her Majesty's pleasure.
Is there any leaflets in here on syphilis?
Specialist nurse Lisa has been visiting inmates of HMP Manchester
for over two years
and knows penile problems in the penal system are a real issue.
All the prisoners that we screened last week,
we need to get their results ready for this week.
And one's come back as, um...as a syphilis.
Another one's come back as a chronic hepatitis B.
So I need to sort them out when I get there.
Joining her for the first time today is clinic support worker Celia.
-Are you going to the prison today, Celia?
-Yes, have you been before?
-What's it like?
-Bit scary...but I'm a wimp.
Do we have a guard with us? A nice hunky one or what?
You have someone that escorts you to the health centre,
but you don't have a guard with you in the room.
So you're alone with them prisoners?
Yeah. You'll be with somebody else. There's two of you.
You've got terrorists in there,
rapists, murderers, paedophiles... it's a proper, big, hard prison.
-Depressing, isn't it?
You weren't scared, was you?
No! Not when I was in the clinic, no.
-It's just walking through the prison.
-Freaks me out.
So when you're walking through, do you see them, "Eeehhh!"?
No, Celia. It's not like Escape From Alcatraz!
Oh, right. It's exciting!
I'll have a quick slurp of tea before I go,
won't get a chance to have one while I'm there.
-We can take this?
-Is that sealed?
-Sealed, everything's sealed.
Inside HMP Manchester are some of the country's most dangerous criminals.
Doors are now shut, that's it, Celia, we're in.
And inside them are some of the most dangerous STIs.
This is your main holding cell area, here,
that's for your mainstream prisoners.
We've also got another holding cell, here,
which is for vulnerable kind of prisoners.
Before the patients are called up from the cells,
Lisa shows Celia the ropes.
-We're all doing the urine samples now.
Do the urine over there, that's absolutely fine.
If you dispose of it in them orange bags,
that's absolutely fine, cos there's no sluice, you see.
Oh, so just throw the wee-wee in the sink?
No, no. Put them... seal them back in the bag,
and they go in the...in the bin.
With infection rates for prisoners significantly higher
than the UK average, Lisa knows the value of this outreach work.
It's just as important to offer these guys a screening in here
as it is out on...on civvy street, if you like.
They know that they're coming into prison, some of them,
so what they do is they make sure they have a lot of sex
before they go into prison.
I mean, a few of them have had no symptoms
and they've got chlamydia, you know, that kind of thing.
Their first patient is a prisoner serving time for a drugs offence.
It's good to know that you've had a check-up
and that everything's OK and, like I said,
-I can get your results to you next week. Sound like a plan?
Right, I'll just go through some questions with you if that's OK.
The last time this man faced questioning,
it led to a prison sentence.
He'll be hoping to get off lighter today.
And do you use protection with your partner or...?
How long you been together for?
No other sexual partners?
-Have you ever injected drugs?
-Sex with anyone who's injected drugs?
OK, and the last time you had sex with anybody was when?
So we'll check your urine for chlamydia and gonorrhoea
and we can check your blood for HIV and syphilis, all right?
Just don't like needles?
I can see it all on your face!
Do guys here talk about the fact that this clinic is available?
With one patient down, Lisa and Celia have many more left to see.
I've got, um...one that I've got to follow up
who has got chronic hepatitis.
There's another one who's...
I need to check whether he's been treated for syphilis
and the others is warts, two of them have got warts.
So I just need you to fill this paperwork in for me.
Back at the clinic and student Ben is hoping to persuade his girlfriend
to lift his sex ban by proving he hasn't got an STI.
Broke up with my girlfriend a while ago
and then we recently got back together,
but whilst we were apart, I got together with someone,
and she said, "Yeah, you need to get tested." So I said, "OK, fine."
I should be fine. Well, at least, I hope I am, so, um...
-Hi, is it Benjamin?
-Hiya, come in.
Come and have a seat.
-Have you ever had sex with a man?
When you have sex with your partners, do you give them oral sex?
-You do, OK.
And do you receive any anal sex? We ask everybody this question.
Have you ever had sex with anyone from a different country?
Whereabouts were they from?
and a Mexican-American once.
And as far as you know, you're not HIV positive, but you've never tested?
No, I've never tested but I've never had any symptoms.
Right, OK. And have you ever had a blood transfusion?
-Um, I was in a car accident.
-And I had to have, um, yeah...
I had a lot of internal bleeding and stuff,
and then again when I was seven, I had to have another surgery,
which I'm not sure if I needed a blood transfusion for or not.
-That would've been '93.
So I just need a urine sample now.
You all right there?
-Tricky, cuffs, aren't they?
-OK, that's fab. You got any questions?
-No, no, that's it.
-All right, thank you.
-You're very welcome, no problem.
-All right, see you now, bye-bye.
Uh, I'm pretty sure that I'm OK.
They say to you, if we haven't contacted you in two weeks
then you're fine, which does leave you spending two weeks thinking,
"Oh, God, what if they text me and I've got something?"
Ben will cross his fingers his results come back negative.
If he has an STI,
his girlfriend's sex ban will be the least of his worries.
The clinic deal with thousands of patients like Ben every month.
Getting their results to them, and fast,
is a vital part of the clinic's day-to-day work.
Oh, my god, it's my results.
Oh, that reminds me, I got a message from the clinic.
I'm glad that I'll find out soon.
I've got a text.
We just need to be positive and hope that our result's the right result.
-I've no idea.
Adele's results have come through.
It's from the clinic.
She gets straight on Skype to break the news to Eddy face to face.
I'm calling because I just got a message from the clinic, um...
-Saying that everything's negative, so...
Oh, good, I'm happy for you and us.
Yeah, it's nice. It's there in writing.
It's all OK, so that's good. Yeah.
Oh! So relieved!
No little skeletons hiding in the cupboard, so that's really nice.
At the prison, Lisa and Celia
are banged up with the inmates from HMP Manchester.
You sit yourself over here for me, please.
Their next patient is serving a life sentence.
So the last time you had sex with anybody was when?
-Have you been in prison since 2010?
The reason behind his incarceration is confidential
but the reason he's come to see the clinic staff are all too familiar.
If he did catch something whilst on a break from his girlfriend,
then any STI will have been causing damage for nearly two years.
Was there a problem with the testicles?
OK. How long have you had the lump for?
On the surface of the testicle, is it painful?
Any unusual fluid? Any discharge or anything like that?
Just pain passing urine?
Well, what we can do is... I can do a sexual health screen on you.
OK, and we can test for things like chlamydia
and gonorrhoea that can cause - if they're left untreated -
they can cause more problems, symptoms like you're saying about.
And just because of your testicular symptoms
and now you've also got other symptoms,
I'll get you in to see a doctor. Is that all right?
And your results will be available to you in a week's time.
When we come back next week, we do a results slip, put it in an envelope,
and it's then taken up to your wing and it's popped under your door.
All right, then, chuck?
The prisoner's problem may soon get treated,
but when his girlfriend finds out what's happened,
he may be glad he's locked up.
There's just one patient left to deal with.
The prison visit is nearly over.
Any tests we do today, the results will be available next week.
I'll try and not send you bad news.
When are you due to be released?
Do you know how long you think you might get?
Just got to do your time. Get out and don't come back again.
You didn't learn that lesson, then?
Yeah, you're all done.
For Lisa, the four hours in nick have flown by.
'The prisoners, they're really nice lads. You chat with them, you know?
'You're getting a range of different conversations, really.'
Sometimes when they say,
"I've been in prison," and, "I've been in before,"
and you think, "Why have you come back?"
Bit of bribery there.
Even Celia, despite her initial fears, has enjoyed herself.
I liked it, can't wait to come back again.
It was interesting, and the prisoners were nice.
They're just human beings like us, they're just locked up, that's it.
She was brilliant. She's like a duck to water, she's absolutely great.
She just cracks on and gets on with it.
She was absolutely fine, she was brilliant.
She makes me laugh, Celia. Always got a light-hearted thing to say.
HE HUMS A TUNE
Across town, and John and his mates are very much
young, free and single.
-Have you shaved your legs today?
-Yes, you have!
They're gearing up for a big night out with their friends,
Abi and Danni.
Everyone's fucking shagged each other. Disgusting.
Manchester is horrible. Everyone's shagged everyone.
How many girls have you been with that I would've
and the other way round as well?
Mate, quite a lot. AT LEAST six or seven.
How many girls have you slept with?
Do you know what? I don't even know.
I can't even estimate the amount of girls I've boned.
When I was 16, 17 it was about 20,
and I'm 25 now.
Do you use protection?
I'm not being funny and I know it's crude, but I like to feel... it on me.
I don't think about if they're going to get pregnant.
I don't think about STIs.
DANNI: Do you ask her if she's on the pill?
I-I-I... No. To be fair, no.
If we start doing anything and she doesn't say anything,
then that's it, then it doesn't really matter to me.
I don't really care.
And to be fair, as living proof, I've got a child in America.
-DANNI: Have you?
At the time you think, "I'm going to get laid and that is it."
DANNI: Have any of you had STIs?
I've had chlamydia. I've had chlamydia three times.
DANNI GASPS What?!
The girls may be shocked by what they're hearing,
but for the boys, it's almost a badge of honour.
John's just going for the shiny now, innit?
Just HIV to complete the set. That's all you need now.
The thing is with chlamydia, though, it's literally...
-Four tablets, see you later.
-Take four pills, gone.
DANNI: It's not though! You think because you can cure it that easily,
-that it's not a serious fucking disease?
-Well, yeah, but...
Use a condom! What is wrong with ya?
Tonight they might get their chance.
They're off out into Manchester on the pull.
See ya later!
For staff at the clinic, every day brings new delights.
You never know what you'll get behind that curtain, do you really?
I think there's only ever one thing that shocked me
was a young lad and he come in and he was worried.
He didn't know how to use a condom,
because he'd been having dry sex with his girlfriend.
So I asked him, I said, "So what is dry sex?"
He says, "I leave me undies on when I'm having sex with me girlfriend."
I said - me head was thinking - "But there's pores in undies,
"the semen's going to get through!"
I think that was just amazing. How they get it in...
-How do you have sex with your undies on?
-It's called dry humping now.
Oh, that. Dry humping! Oh, that!
All good. It's all good.
Dan has HIV and is a regular face at the clinic.
Because I am HIV positive, having STDs in general,
well, having any diseases in general does concern me
because of my weakened immune system.
Unprotected sex with other HIV-positive men
has infected Dan with a string of STIs.
I've had gonorrhoea and chlamydia in the past.
I had a syphilis scare - luckily that was all negative.
But Dan's high-risk behaviour has led him to the clinic
for the second time in just a few weeks.
I think there's a bit of a discharge from the backside.
I was in about two months ago with similar symptoms.
They said it was gonorrhoea, and I was treated,
so I'm not sure if they've come back.
Getting to the bottom of things for Dan is Chitra -
consultant and HIV specialist.
Daniel, my name is Chitra Babu, I think we have met before.
I think so, uh...
-Daniel, whereabouts in America are you from?
How long have you been in the UK for?
Er...about six years now.
Do you like it here?
Enough that I stay.
It's... I'm having fun and Europe's my playground.
Tell me more about the discharge.
I suppose coming out of the back passage, it's...
kind of coloured in such a way...
It's kind of, I don't want to say yellowish,
but sometimes it's yellowy brown.
-And do you use condoms?
-For anal as well?
-I'm going to take a swab from the front.
-Just going to pull the skin back, OK.
Just have a quick look and take a little swab.
As he has symptoms, Dan needs a penile swab.
This is just a little bit unpleasant.
Just take a deep breath in for me.
-What I'm going to do is just rub some gel on it.
It's going to feel a little bit cold.
OK, Daniel, just breaths in and out.
Just going to introduce this, OK?
STIs thrive in warn, moist places.
Dan's bottom is both of these things,
so Chitra will need a swab from there, too.
In view of your symptoms,
while we're waiting for more sort of confirmatory results, especially
for things like chlamydia, I'm going to give you some treatment anyway.
Now, while you're taking these antibiotics,
the main advice would be no sex at all,
not even with condoms, not even oral sex.
Dan's treatment is a precaution.
It'll be at least a week before he discovers
if he does in fact have yet another dose of gonorrhoea.
'With Daniel, he's a very intelligent person,
'and, you know, I do remember having seen him before.'
He's got all the information there,
but on the other hand, we have treated him recently.
We have to make them aware, because there are some things
which we can easily treat, but there are other things we can't.
Despite being HIV positive and repeatedly contracting STIs,
Dan doesn't seem interested in changing his ways.
For me, it's a fact of life.
If it does turn out to be gonorrhoea,
then it feels like a regular check-up for me.
Will I change my behaviour?
In time. I'm still young, I'm still enjoying life,
so sooner or later life will calm down.
Student Ben is waiting nervously for the results
which could signal the end of his girlfriend's sex ban
and clear him of having HIV, syphilis or any other STI.
Oh, that's good. Right, I got the text, it was negative.
Yeah, that is a relief. At least I haven't got anything.
I'm just going to text my girlfriend and tell her everything was fine.
Yeah, so obviously in future I'll try not to get drunk
and go home with random women where I'm not sure what's happening.
I'll try and keep my... Well, I'm back with my girlfriend,
so I won't do that now, but if I did break up with her,
then yeah, that's what I'll do, I'll be sensible and not get too drunk.
She text back, "Oh, no, that means we have to have sex!"
Oh, that was quite funny.
After the green light from his girlfriend,
Ben is back on for an STI-free sex life.
Smooth-talking John and his mates are off out on the pull.
-Come on, ladies. Let's disco dance!
Even his friend Abi can't resist his unique charms.
-I'm waiting for you. Will you marry me?
-Marry me right now.
-Wait your turn.
-Oh, fuck off!
Or maybe she can.
Either way, John's not bothered.
It's not long before he's tongue-deep in Manchester's single girls.
I don't know, but she started coming up to me
and started doing the little... giving me the little wiggle.
I was like, "Right, come on, let's go."
# Ooh, ooh Come and get you some
# Come and get you some... #
We're only being friendly. I'm just after...
A quick lay. Don't lie.
I wasn't going to say it like that, I was going to...
Yes, you are, though!
I wasn't going to put it as nice as what you were going to put it. But yeah.
With a few drinks inside him, no girl is off limits.
-Obviously she's not.
Cos she likes a bit of cock in her every now and again!
# Hot girl, you're doing it well
# The way your hips move got me under a spell... #
But with John and the lads yet to receive their results,
it's possible these girls could get a nasty surprise
if they were to go in for more than just a kiss.
-And are they fit?
-And are we going to fuck 'em?
-I hope so!
That's that done for today.
Pee pots. Jolly good.
Working in sexual health is a real eye-opener,
even for experienced staff like Fiona and Pam.
I didn't realise everybody shaved their pubic region.
That was a complete revelation to me.
So it made me think, "Oh, no, I'd better go and get the razor out!"
-A new era of no hair, isn't it?
-Yeah, it is!
-Men, men, as well. Men and women.
-Men shave, women shave...
-Yeah, they shave everything.
-We are a hairless society now.
I always think, "Well, it keeps you a bit warm, doesn't it?"
They're embarrassed about getting their clothes off,
because they haven't shaved for a few weeks.
-And, honestly, there must be a millimetre of hair.
-Yeah, that's right!
And you think, "Looks all right to me! You're fine there!"
-Bushes are out, love. Not in this day and age.
Definitely not at all. No bush.
When it comes to STIs,
the group at least risk of infection, apart from nuns,
-Hi, have you got an appointment?
-Hi. Er, no.
OK, if you just read this, would you be number one or two?
Erm, number one.
-It's just for general testing?
But low risk isn't no risk,
and having just got together with a new partner,
19-year-old Alex can't stop worrying.
'I needed to get tested.
'Like, I wanted to just put my mind at ease, really.'
I worry about warts, because they're disgusting
and they'd scare me so much if I got them.
I think warts and crabs, as well.
They would be... They are the two, like, my most feared STIs.
Unfortunately for Alex,
warts is one of the most common STIs for lesbians,
and if she does have crabs, or pubic lice, as they are also known,
she'll be hoping they're nothing like
one of the clinic's most infamous cases.
"His name is Bob...don't throw."
You can see its legs.
There you are, there's its head.
Oh, my God! It's massive!
If you see it in the microscope,
you think of all them crabs that could be running around.
Oh, it's scary!
Come on through.
Alex will be praying Bob and his ilk make no appearance
during her appointment with specialist nurse Fiona.
-Have you ever had a sexually transmitted infection before?
OK. Have you ever had sex with an HIV-positive man
-or a bisexual man that you're aware of?
-With your partners do you have oral sex?
-And any anal sex?
-So you only have female partners, is that right?
-Do you use sex toys at all with your partners?
And when you have sex with your female partners,
-do you use any other protection at all?
-You don't use anything...?
-There's only one protection for lesbians.
-Yeah, that's right.
-That sheet thing.
-I've never used that.
-But you are aware that there is such a thing if need be.
I mean, they do say that you can make your own dental dams,
so it's like a clingfilm, basically.
Insert that into your vagina.
You need to put it to about there. Give it a swirl.
-Toilet's just in there.
The rectal ones are slightly harder,
and I have known somebody come out the bathroom
with the cotton wool bit missing, and I was going, "Where's the end?"
and they're going, "Don't know," so it's like...!
Thank you very much.
-No, thank you. You take care.
Her risk, as a lesbian woman, is very low.
Erm, especially as she has no penetrative sex, she's not...
she's not, erm, using sex toys so her risk of infection is low,
but there's obviously still a risk there.
Alex will find out if her worries were without foundation
in the next two weeks.
In the meantime, there is one method she could try out
to protect herself from even the smallest risk.
The dental dams, the notion behind them
is stop the risk of infection through oral sex, obviously,
but people don't use them.
It's not something that people like.
Dan came to the clinic seeking treatment for an anal discharge.
He's waiting for test results,
which will tell him if he's contracted gonorrhoea
for the second time in as many months.
Oh, I do have a chat.
You find a guy, you start chatting and...perhaps you hook up.
Hoping for the all-clear, Dan is already cruising a gay hook-up site.
He's just replied.
He's a barman and an author, of sorts.
All these conversations follow the same format.
Sometimes I just find it really mundane,
and you just want to cut to the chase.
I'm fairly versatile and up for...various things.
Working in the city centre,
I get some people that want me to come round on lunchtime
and, er, I think that's a bit too much.
Tempted a few times, but I've yet to... I've yet to do that.
Since his appointment, life's been tough for Dan.
Yeah, well, they said to withhold sex so it's just, er, frustration
with abstaining but, erm, it's not been that long, but, er...
Luckily, Dan is saved by the bell.
I've just gotten a results text, and it looks negative,
so it's all good.
"Negative," right there, in words.
Across town, it's results day for the likely lads.
I've got a text saying,
"Your most recent test results from MSCH are negative."
Yeah, that's right, isn't it? Yeah.
John is facing the prospect of his fourth bout of chlamydia,
but he could've contracted a far more serious STI
through his high-risk sexploits.
I need to stop, I know I need to stop now,
cos I don't want it to get to the point where I think,
"I should've stopped and started using protection,"
when I end up with something like HIV or something like that.
Cos I know it's in Manchester, cos I've read leaflets on it.
So, obviously, I need to stop now.
I like to put a front on, don't I?
So people don't see that I'm worried, but...
I'm just a bit worried by myself.
The long wait for results
has also been causing Alex to do more worrying.
When I was talking to my friends about it, it was scaring me a bit.
I was like, "I might have a symptom,
"but I've just not picked up on it because I thought I was ill,"
or something like that.
My, er, my tests are negative. So, I don't have anything.
Yeah! That's good.
Phew, that's like a weight off my shoulders.
I feel like texting them back saying, "Thanks," but it probably won't work.
She can't wait to share the news with her girlfriend.
I'm just putting, "I'm free from STIs".
I'm so happy that I haven't actually got any STIs.
I feel like I owe myself a pint. Definitely.
Alex hits town for some celebration drinks,
and she's invested in a special safe sex treat
for her and her girlfriend to enjoy.
I ordered some...
-Oh, my God!
It's balloons, it's balloons.
-Simple. Why don't you have a dam?
-Personally, I would never use one.
'We're just about to try the dental dams now.'
So, wish us luck.
The following morning,
and it seems the dental dam's charms have been lost on the girls.
It's definitely not a solution of how to protect yourself.
I'd rather not have sex with someone than use that on someone.
I didn't like it at all. I wouldn't use it again.
Like Alex said, if I was that worried about someone having an STI,
I just wouldn't have sex with them.
# If you can see me
# Then you're probably a little too close
# So you think you could love me... #
Dan and his mates are celebrating him
getting the all-clear on his latest gonorrhoea test.
Yeah, so... Yeah, I went to the clinic for a check-up.
I go every month.
The first time I got gonorrhoea was a wake-up call...kind of.
How many times have you had that?
I'm actually quite lucky, I've only ever had thrush once.
He may be clear of gonorrhoea, but Dan is still HIV-positive.
I can pull mine back!
And whilst that's no longer the death sentence it once was, it still means
a lifetime on medication and often prejudice from those around you.
If I was to ever think that I was positive or have a...
I don't know how I would cope.
I don't think I would tell anybody.
I think I would really go into myself.
But if you had a support network of close friends, would you tell them?
I don't know, cos my idea of people, the way they react...
I wouldn't want anyone to think that of us.
I caught it because it was horny to NOT use condoms.
And I wouldn't say I actively sought it out,
but I was just being stupid.
I've regretted it every day since, because it is such a life-changer.
You all right?
Do you need to take a break?
Shall we? Yeah.
Dan's friend, Hunter, visibly shocked, leaves the room.
Although Dan didn't know it, it turns out Hunter
was completely unaware of Dan's HIV status until now.
I didn't know that Dan was positive.
It's not the end of the world, you know,
he's still Dan to me.
I'm still going to love him just as much.
I changed my own life, and it was kind of a stupid decision.
You're playing the dice game that your numbers will come up
and you'll win.
Eventually your numbers aren't going to come in, and you'll catch it.
I suppose that's the tipping point.
You go from...
..happy Dan to what the hell happened?
..start relying on your friends, cos it may seem like it's the end.
His friend's reaction makes Dan reflect
on just how serious his condition is.
Yeah, I didn't really expect that. Thought everybody knew everything.
His reaction to the news that I was positive was very real.
I try not to feel sad for myself.
I made that decision, I did that, I did it to myself.
Two years ago it was a...
..decision I was making and it ultimately was the wrong one.
John and his mates are meeting up for the first time
since receiving their results.
So subject on the matter.
So did you get a text?
-Yeah, I did.
-Go on, then.
I'm going last, mate.
-I was negative.
I knew I was going to be.
Negative! Oh, yes it was.
-I'm pretty disappointed, bruv.
-I know. You?
Mine's negative as well. I were just hoping you'd ha...
I said that before, I was like, mate...
The hopes were on you, mate.
I did think, though, you'd be the most likely person to have it,
-Because you're fucking, you're horrible and you shag anything.
Oh! Yeah, but I'd like to know if I've got summat
and get it sorted rather than let it fester inside my body for two years.
It's great news for John,
and a chance to change his complacent attitude to unsafe sex.
'Definitely relieved, so now I have to be sensible.'
I've still got a thing in me head where I think it's a bit of a con or summat
where I'm going to get a text in a couple of weeks saying
you have got summat.
The boys may be all clear, but back at the clinic the staff face
yet another fun-packed day treating all manner of STIs.
On this one we have a gentleman who's come in with a discharge.
Warts, genital warts. Burning sensation when weeing.
Painful sex, need to wee more often.
And this is a lady that's come in, she's got a sore throat.
So she's obviously thinking that's probably a sign
that she might have some infection in her throat.
With the battle against STIs on-going,
the clinic still believe it can be won.
Everybody's out there enjoying themselves, as quite rightly,
but let's do it safely, so... Maybe one day!
You don't want to be known as the girl who has chlamydia.
My view on it is you're not a real man unless you've had chlamydia.
So, in the last three months, how many sexual partners have you had?
How am I meant to know if she's going to fall pregnant?
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
John comes into the clinic hoping he won't be diagnosed with chlamydia for an astonishing fourth time, clinic staff provide sexual health care for the inmates of maximum security jail HMP Manchester and, after a drunken one night stand, 26-year-old student Ben tries to persuade his girlfriend to lift a sex ban by proving he's still STI-free.