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What are people talking about when they say that someone has the clap?

“The clap” is slang for the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhea.

Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection passed through oral, vaginal or anal sex with someone who has gonorrhea. Some people with gonorrhea may have symptoms like discharge from their penis or vagina, burning when they pee, or pain in genitals or lower abdomen, while others may not notice any symptoms at all.

Gonorrhea rates are on the rise in Manitoba, which is why we recommend routine STI testing. A urine sample or a swab of the cervix, penis or throat are the only ways to detect gonorrhea. It can be cured with antibiotics, allowing people to prevent transmitting it to their partner(s). External condoms, internal condoms and sex dams are other effective prevention tools.

The last thing to remember is that other people are not a reliable source of information about our health status. The only way to know if you have “the clap” is to get tested. And even if you test positive, with treatment you can clear the infection and move on with your sex life.