STI Clinics – Pulari

'Pulari'- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) testing and treatment services for everyone

What is 'Pulari'?

'Pulari' or STI clinics are centres for the treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections free of cost to anyone who walks into the clinics.

Why the service is provided?
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are diseases that are mainly passed from one person to another (that is transmitted) through unprotected (unsafe) sexual intercourse. These diseases were once called Venereal Diseases(VD), but the term is not used currently. There are many different sexually transmitted infections with a range of different symptoms. These diseases may be spread through vaginal, anal and oral sex.

Some of the common STIs include genital warts, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Syphilis. Common syptoms of STIs include discharge from penis or vagina, painful urination, painful sexual intercourse, itching, rashes, ulcers and sores on the genital area, mouth or anus and swollen lymph nodes in the groin area.

The relationship between HIV and sexually transmitted infections is well recognized. The overwhelming majority of HIV infections are sexually acquired, as are STIs. Both conditions arise out of high-risk behaviour and multiple partners. Moreover, the risk of acquiring HIV increases several fold with coexisting STIs because of the damages caused to the sexual organs by the STIs. Hence, prompt and early treatment of sexually transmitted infections is an important strategy for preventing as well as controlling HIV infection.

Since about 6% of the adult population may have STIs, it is essential to provide free and easily available treatment at all health care facilities. Because adequate laboratory test facilities are seldom available, or the patient needs to comeback to get results a simplified approach of diagnosing and treating symptomatic STIs has been devised. This method is known as the Syndromic Management of STIs. This has made STI control feasible even in remote areas. This approach classifies a set of easily recognised symptoms such as genital discharge or ulcers into standardized disease categories which are treated with well defined regimens of drugs of fixed duration.

To read facts about STIs and safe sexual practises

Healthy Sexual Relationship
A healthy and satisfactory sexual relationship is the bedrock of a successful married life. To ensure this one has to practise safe sex and maintain fidelity. Having multiple partners and practising unsafe sex can make one’s life miserable. Such unsafe sexual relations and promiscuity can cause several Sexually Transmitted Infections, which in turn can lead to serious consequences.

Common STI’s & their symptoms
Sexually transmitted infections are those infections that are contracted and transmitted through sexual intercourse. The common symptoms of STI’s are:

  • Ulcers on the external genitalia.
  • Purulent discharge through the urethra along with pain and burning sensation on passing urine.
  • Unusual and excessive discharge from the vagina.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the groin area.
  • Lower abdominal pain and pain during intercourse (in females).
  • Painful swelling of the scrotum (in males).


  • Seek treatment at the early stage of illness.
  • Avoid self-treatment and going to quacks.
  • Seek treatment from trained experts whose services are available at Government Medical Colleges and District Hospitals.
  • Take complete course of treatment as advised by the doctor even if the symptoms disappear. Many STI’s are asymptomatic.
  • Ensure that your partner is also treated.
  • Use condoms during and after treatment.

Pulari centres are STI treatment clinics. These are the service centres run by Kerala State AIDS Control Society, where free, prompt and complete treatment for STI’s is given. At these STI clinics, trained doctors make accurate diagnosis and provide complete and curative treatment. Importance of completing the full course of treatment is emphasized. STI clinics are functioning at all the five Govt. Medical Colleges and thirteen District Hospitals.

Link between STI’s & HIV
A person who has an STI (urethral discharge or genital ulcer) runs as much as four times the risk of contracting HIV from a sexual partner, than a person who is not infected with STI. An ulcerative STI poses a significantly greater risk of HIV transmission; because the HIV virus can be enter the body more easily through the genital ulcer. HIV virus is present in large numbers in the semen and vaginal fluids of infected persons. Unsafe sexual contact with an infected person enables easy entry of HIV virus especially in the presence of ulcerative lesions on the genitalia. Therefore, because of the strong link between HIV and STI, it is very important to treat all STI’s completely and curatively as early as possible. Correct and consistent use of condoms can protect against HIV and STI, by preventing contact with infected semen and vaginal fluids.

What Services are provided?
Pulari centres provide STI treatment services free of cost to those who seek services from the centre. It is staffed by...
1. Medical Officer
2. Staff nurse
3. Lab technician
4. Counsellor

Currently, there are 21 Pulari centres functioning in Kerala. Out of this, 14 are in district hospitals and the rest are in Govt. Medical Colleges / Co-op. Medical Colleges (Pariyaram and Kochi)

  • Unusual and excessive discharge from the vagina.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the groin area.
  • Lower abdominal pain and pain during intercourse (in females).
  • Painful swelling of the scrotum (in males).