Gonorrhoea (also called ‘the clap’, ‘gonno’ or ‘the drip’)


What is it?


Gonorrhoea is a common sexually transmissible infection (STI).The infection can occur in your penis (dick) anus (bum), throat and less commonly in the eyes.


How do you get it?


Gonorrhoea is passed on by giving or receiving vaginal, anal (bum) or oral sex. Touching an infected dick, anus or vagina and then touching your own dick, bum or eyes can transmit gonorrhoea, too.


What are the symptoms or signs?


It is quite common to have no symptoms, especially if the infection is in your bum or the throat.


If symptoms do occur, the common symptoms include:


These symptoms usually take between two and 10 days to show up after being infected.




Tests for gonorrhoea include swabs or a urine test.


Can it be treated?


Gonorrhoea is easily cured with antibiotics. Sexual contact should be avoided for at least one week to ensure the infection has cleared after treatment and to make sure you don’t spread it to your sexual partners.


How can it be prevented?


Using a condom does reduce the risk of transmission if the infected area is covered. Condoms may not always cover the infected area so there is still a risk of passing on gonorrhoea. It can also be passed on through oral sex or by touching an infected area.


Gonorrhoea & HIV


HIV infection may intensify some of the symptoms of gonorrhoea and make some known complications of gonorrhoea more likely—for example cases of severe arthritis related to gonorrhoea and a severe inflammation of the eye have been reported in people with HIV.


Research has shown a link between gonorrhoea and faster HIV disease progression.


Gonorrhoea infections also increase the amount of HIV in semen. This means that the chance of passing on HIV through unprotected sex is greater.


Gonorrhoea also causes inflammation that can make an HIV-negative person more susceptible to being infected with HIV.