Are Middle East health challenges tending towards Western ones?

Things are changing all across our world. With cheaper and accessible travel, people are migrating faster and further. With these changes come new opportunities for cultural exchange, changes to diet, lifestyle and health.

Chlamydia Symptoms

Chlamydia is one of the worlds most common STIs, according to a recent report published by the World Health Organisaiton. One of the big reasons for this is that many people have no symptoms when they have Chlamydia. Over 80% of women and 50% of men will not know they have the infection.

Middle East 90 90 90 Progress

The Middle East has one of the lowest prevalence rates for HIV in the world. Despite this, progress towards the UNAIDS 90 90 90 targets is low. There is still deep stigma across the Middle East towards people with HIV and how they are treated.

What does HIV mean?

HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. If left untreated it often leads to AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which can lead to death. However, there have been a lot of advances in medication. HIV is no longer the life-threatening condition it once was. With regular medication, most people should lead a normal length of life.

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Which STIs should men test for?

Getting tested for an STI is important part of any man’s healthcare routine. Choosing which STIs to test for, and making sure you have comprehensive testing is really important. Most men would not want to infect their next partner with an STI they decided not to test for. So understanding your options is really important.

Five reasons to have an STI Test

Protecting your health is really important. Your healthcare routine includes (or should) regular trips to the dentist and optician, as well as pre-cancer checks as we get older. If you have different sexual partners you should also include STI tests.

Here are five reasons to get an STI Test in the Middle East.

  1. The only way to know if you have an STI is to get tested. Most STIs do not have any symptoms.
  2. STIs do not go away on their own. If you do have an STI, you need to get treatment.
  3. Even if you have used condoms, they do not prevent STIs spreading from skin to skin contact in the genital area (Syphilis, Herpes, Genital Warts)
  4. Oral sex can transmit STIs (Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea)
  5. It is easier than you think. You can book your confidential appointment online.

What are the first signs of an STI?

Most people who have an STI do not have any symptoms. However, there are some signs and symptoms to look out for. If you do notice any of these in you or your partner, then getting tested is a good idea.

Do I have HIV?

Since the 1980s, HIV/ AIDS is one of the sexually transmitted infections that instils the most fear in people. With the threat of death, many people remain unaware of available HIV treatments (both pre and post exposure) that can help reduce the amount of damage to their system – enabling healthy long lives – as well as the risks of transmission to future sexual partners. The best way to combat HIV is to engage in safe sex, fight stigma, know your own risk and take preventative measures, understand how the virus is transmitted and what the symptoms are.

Cures for STIs

STIs will not go away if you leave it for long enough. In these circumstances, drinking plenty of water and getting rest will not cure your sexually transmitted infection. You need to get treatment by visiting your doctor. With some infections, treatment is combined with long-term monitoring and management. Once you get tested and know which STI you have, you can receive the right course of medication to clear or manage your infection.

Gender-based violence connected to HIV rates in the Middle East

In some parts of the world, women who experience partner violence are 1.5 times more likely to be affected by HIV than women who do not. Amongst neglected populations, including transgender women or sex workers, higher rates of violence are linked with an increasing prevalence of HIV infections.