Thrush

Thrush (Candidiasis) is an infection caused by yeast called Candida Albicans.

Thrush can appear in the mouth or on the penis and sometimes in the anus. It is not an STI but it is related to sex. Symptoms include redness, rash or itching on the part of the body infected. Thrush is more likely to occur if you are living with HIV.

It is normal to have small amounts of this yeast in the genital area, but a range of factors can cause the yeast to overgrow. These factors can include recent antibiotics, soaps and detergents and tight clothing that promotes excessive sweating.

Thrush is diagnosed by a simple genital examination, but can be confirmed by a swab collected from the infected area. Thrush is treated with anti-fungal creams or tablets.

Thrush on the penis, testicles, anus and throat are more common and more severe for people with HIV. Some oral anti-fungal treatments can interact badly with HIV medications, so always check with your HIV specialist before taking them.

To avoid recurrences, uncircumcised men should wash (with water only) and dry under their foreskin daily. It may also help to wear light cotton underwear and avoid tight restrictive clothing.