It is often assumed that STI rates may be lower in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) due to certain religious and cultural norms which differ significantly to Europe and other parts of the world. However, the rate of Chlamydia infection found in MENA is parallel to that in other regions across the world.
Research suggests that the prevalence of Chlamydia found in the genital area amongst the general population is around 3 per cent. Previously, researchers had found consistently lower rates of HIV and Herpes type II in MENA than other regions. Chlamydia, however, seems to be a different story.
Several high-risk groups, for which Chlamydia rates are found to be as high as 13 per cent, include female sex workers, those attending fertility clinics, and women with miscarriages.
Many people are unaware that they have an infection, therefore Chlamydia rates are likely to be higher than reported. Whilst some individuals are uninformed about the importance of sexual health testing, others avoid getting tested due to fear of a positive result. The stigma associated with STIs and the potential consequences for relationships can deter testing, particularly for women.
Up to 80% of women and 50% of men with a Chlamydia infection do not experience any symptoms. This means that, without being tested, it can take years to find out that you have Chlamydia. By this time, the infection may have caused considerable harm to your body and reproductive organs.
Chlamydia can eventually cause serious health complications such as loss of fertility, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) in women, and epididymitis in men. Some women may also experience an ectopic pregnancy, which is a leading cause of death for women in the first trimester.
If you may have been at risk, contact us to arrange your confidential Chlamydia test today. We will never disclose that you have been for a Chlamydia test and your results will not be shared with anyone. Our network of highly trained doctors, nurses and sexual health experts are on hand to help you. Speak to us in confidence by phone or live webchat.
 Nature Asia: Middle East chlamydia rates comparable to other regions