You may be suffering from an outbreak of blemishes around the mouth, the genital or anal areas of your body. These can be in the form of sores, ulcers, lesions, warts, blisters or any other breaks in the continuation of skin. Herpes, Syphilis and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) are common sexually transmitted infections that trigger these types of symptoms. The only way to know which STI you have contracted is to get tested as soon as possible.

Herpes Simplex Virus I & II

The Herpes virus comes in two forms: Herpes Simplex Virus I (HSV 1) and Herpes Simplex Virus II (HSV 2). HSV 1 is commonly associated with causing sores or blisters around the mouth, often known as cold sores. HSV 2 is often linked with genital sores or blisters. Despite this, the two strains are not limited to these areas. It is possible to contract HSV 2 around the mouth and HSV 1 around the genital area.

Herpes I could have been contracted in childhood from kisses off a relative, remaining dormant until triggered by illness, stress or a weakened immune system.

Herpes I & II can be transmitted through unprotected sexual contact, including oral, anal or vaginal intercourse. There is a high chance of Herpes transmission if you or your partner engage in unprotected sexual activities whilst experiencing a Herpes outbreak. This is because direct skin-to-skin contact with an active blister or sore will pass on the virus.

Other symptoms of a Herpes infection include:

  • Pain when urinating
  • Unusual discharge in women
  • Tingling or pain around the site of infection
  • Flu-like symptoms (fever, tiredness, swollen glands and muscle aches).

Once you have acquired Herpes, the virus remains in your system for life. You can still engage in sexual activities, and protection should always be used. If you are experiencing an outbreak, you are advised to abstain from sexual contact to prevent transmission to your partner. There are creams available to help with Herpes outbreaks; medications may be prescribed by a doctor if your outbreaks are particularly severe and frequent.


Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is transmitted sexually. Unprotected oral, anal or vaginal intercourse is the most common way to transmit a Syphilis infection. Direct contact with a Syphilis chancre, sore or lesion is highly likely to result in Syphilis transmission.

There are three phases to a Syphilis infection, with symptoms varying depending on the stage (primary, secondary, latent or tertiary).

  • First stage: A Syphilis chancre has manifested.
  • Second stage: Fever, swollen glands, rashes, headaches, muscle aches, sore throat and hair loss.
  • Latent stage: Signs of infection clear but the infection is still in your system and you can still transmit Syphilis to your sexual partners.
  • Third stage: If Syphilis remains untreated, damage to your internal organs, brains, nerves and eyes may occur.

Syphilis can cause pregnancy and delivery complications for women if it is left untreated. Though Syphilis is still curable at the third stage of infection, the damage to your system can be irreversible.

Syphilis can be cured with a course of antibiotic treatment – your Syphilis treatment will depend on how long you have been infected:

  • For Syphilis infections of less than two years: one injection of penicillin into your buttocks or a 10-14-day course of antibiotics if you are allergic to penicillin is the most likely course of treatment.
  • For Syphilis infections of over two years: three penicillin injections at weekly intervals or a 4-week course of antibiotics if you cannot have penicillin will generally be required to cure your infection.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

The Human Papilloma Virus affects both men and women. There are over 100 different strains of HPV, with around 30 types affecting the genital area. Most strains of HPV show few or no symptoms in an infected individual. However, when symptoms are present they can manifest in the form of Genital Warts. Some HPV types are linked to causing Cervical Cancer, as well as cancers of the throat, oesophagus and other parts of the body.

You can choose to be vaccinated against various strains of HPV, including some types of HPV that cause Genital Warts.

HPV affects the moist membranes lining your body and your skin, including in areas such as your anus, cervix, penis, throat and mouth. The viral infection is transmitted sexually, with unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex increasing the chances of HPV transmission. For HPV, penetrative sex is not required for the virus to infect you or your sexual partner. Skin-to-skin contact is enough to result in the transmission of HPV.

There is no cure for HPV but there is treatment available for the symptoms of HPV: Genital Warts. There is a wide range of treatments for Genital Warts. Better2Know offers cryotherapy which involves freezing warts off.

Better2Know’s Blemish Screen in the Middle East

Better2Know’s Blemish Screen is available at various private sexual health clinics in the Middle East. This includes Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The Blemish Screen provides confidential, accurate results for Herpes I/II, HPV and Syphilis.

No incubation period is required for this confidential screening option. This is the time between potential exposure to infection and your STI test. If you are experiencing any sores, ulcers, warts or blisters, then this is the STI screen for you and you can get tested at your earliest convenience. Your experienced sexual health advisor will arrange your private appointment for a time and date that suits your busy schedule.

Your Better2Know doctor can answer any additional questions you may have before taking your swab sample.

Once you have arrived at Better2Know’s private STI clinic, you will be seen by a qualified doctor who will explain the sampling process before taking a swab of the affected area. Your sample will then be sent to Better2Know’s fully certified, central laboratory for fast, accurate testing. Your results will be available within five working days after your sample has arrived at the laboratory.

Better2Know’s dedicated Patient Services team will contact you once all your results are ready to report unless you request otherwise. You can also view your results online as soon as they are available using Better2Know’s secure patient area. Simply log in through our website with the details your Better2Know advisor will provide upon confirming your confidential booking.

If you test positive, Better2Know can help you get the treatment you need. Your advisor will arrange a private doctor’s consultation for you to discuss your diagnosis and receive advice on treatment moving forward.

Booking Your STI Test in the Middle East

Better2Know is the Middle East’s leading private provider of STI testing services. Our private sexual health clinics are conveniently situated throughout the region, with same or next-day appointments available at many locations.

We provide a wide range of STI tests and screens designed to target your specific sexual health concerns, giving you the clarity and control you deserve over your STI status.

Arrange your confidential appointment in the Middle East by getting in touch with Better2Know’s friendly sexual health advisors. Phone them now on the number listed at the top of the page; lines are open 24/7 for your convenience. Alternatively, you can book online whenever it is convenient for you by selecting the orange button above.

Contact Better2Know
8000 444 9598

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