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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Swedish government recently launched a sex education website that has gained popularity
in the Middle East. Youmo.se provides online resources for
sex education support and information. Ranging from topics such as the body,
sex and relationships, to sexual health and sexually transmitted infections,
the material is available in several different languages – including Arabic.
there is a low prevalence of Zika in the Middle East – the potential for the
virus to become widespread is high. Many flights from the Middle East go to
countries where Zika is a prominent health concern. This raises the possibility
of passengers returning to the region whilst infected with the virus.
and more people in Oman are ditching old-school views on the Human
Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and getting tested. Thanks to the government’s campaign
to address and dispel stigma surrounding the condition – the barriers around
HIV testing are no longer preventing as many people from testing for the virus.
Despite this, rates of new HIV infections are still increasing – with the
majority of cases resulting from unprotected sex – and there are various
challenges yet to be addressed.
cancer vaccinations remain optional in areas of the Middle East, such as Dubai
and other Northern Emirates, even though the vaccine could help prevent 90% of cervical cancer cases in the UAE. The vaccine
for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the recommended
prevention method for HPV-related cancers. Despite this, cultural and religious
beliefs around sexual health are creating misconceptions and barriers to the
acceptance of this vaccine.
You’ve had all your vaccinations and let’s say that you’ve also passed the array of medical tests needed for your application for a residency visa, work permit or travel visa. These requirements will vary depending on where you are planning to visit or migrate to. You should always read up on the laws specific to the country. Now you can relax and enjoy the exoticism that is the Middle East. Summer romances, international love affairs, it all seems so exciting whilst you’re in it until something doesn’t feel quite right down there…
You have just tested positive for Genital Herpes. What does this mean? Turning to Dr Google is doing nothing to help aside from bamboozling you with complex medical terms and contradicting information. What is the difference between Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1) and Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV-2)? All you want to know is ‘what’s the cure?’
Temporary marriages are an ancient Islamic practice that enable a man and woman to become husband and wife for a specified period. Terms of practice vary with different beliefs. In the Middle East, these contractual relationships are becoming more popular. They allow people to engage in sexual relationships in a socially and religiously-acceptable way.
In the Middle East, everyone is having sex but no one wants to talk about it – as pointed out to Shereen El Feki whilst she was travelling the Arab region talking about sex. Despite the ease with which people are locking lips, a culture of silence still exists around the topic of sex and sexual health.
The Middle East region remains an area of high risk despite low HIV prevalence. It is an area of increasing concern, especially regarding new infections and AIDS-related deaths.
Moving abroad is probably everyone’s dream come true. Who wouldn’t want to live in a country where your biggest worry is whether you are wearing enough sun cream and not your vitamin D levels?
The Middle East is an area of low HIV prevalence, but not low risk. Prejudice and a lack of sex education seems to be directly affecting the rise of HIV infections in the Middle East. After speaking to a patient who was from the Middle East, Medical Graduate Shaik Ashraf developed ‘Burnd’ in response to some concerns regarding the man’s fears about his own sexual health. The app calculates an individual’s risk of catching HIV by taking into account the person’s sexual orientation, sexual activity, whether they know if their partner has been tested, and type of sex they have.
Globally, cases of sexually transmitted infections are still unacceptably high. More than a million STIs are caught or passed on every day. It is widely accepted that STIs heighten the risk of HIV transmission and some can cause cases of cancer that are common around the world, such as cervical cancer. The number of HIV diagnoses worldwide was not reduced between the years 2010 and 2015 in young people and adults – threatening the 2030 goal of ending the HIV epidemic. The Middle East in particular has ‘miles to go’ to reach UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 targets.
Genital Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection commonly caused by Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV-2). Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1) is associated with oral Herpes – cold sores – usually caught during childhood. Despite this, a recent study has shown that HSV-1 is growing as a sexually transmitted infection – with evidence to show that HSV-1 is surpassing HSV-2 for causing cases of genital Herpes.
Cervical cancer deaths expected to double by 2035 in the Middle East without HPV vaccinations
Cervical cancer related deaths are set to double in the Middle East by 2035. Conservative nations are encouraged to vaccinate people against HPV and tackle sexual taboos. The Ministry of Health and Prevention added the HPV vaccine to the National Immunisation Programme for the first time in the Northern Emirates this year.
The HPV vaccine provides protection against different types of the Human Papilloma Virus, which causes the most cases of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the second largest cancer killer of women in the Middle East and North Africa regions. However, doctors are saying the spread of misinformation amongst some mothers is causing confusion and unnecessary worries about the HPV vaccine.
One quarter of New Year Resolutions are health orientated, with many people wanting to either lose weight or take a more active approach towards their health. In light of this, you should take into account your sexual health.
Often ignored, or brushed under the rug to avoid embarrassment, many individuals disregard signs that they need an STI test in hope that the symptoms simply vanish.
Sexually transmitted infections affects anyone who has sex. Especially if you have sex without a condom. Unfortunately, there seems to be a misconception that STIs are not common or that ‘it won’t happen to me’.
The Middle East’s progress towards UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 targets are well behind the global average. Key populations are not being reached by HIV prevention programmes in the Middle East and Africa region. 
In 2014, UNAIDS announced a fast-track strategy to ending the HIV epidemic by 2030. 90-90-90 targets were set and need to be reached by 2020. This consists of 90% of HIV positive people knowing their status, 90% of those living with HIV being on treatment, and 90% of HIV positive people on treatment having undetectable viral loads. 
Over one million sexually transmitted infections are acquired every day worldwide.  You can catch an STI through sexual contact, as well as vaginal, anal or oral sex. The likelihood of you catching or passing on an STI are higher if you do not practice safer sex, for example by wearing a condom. Some sexually transmitted infections are passed on through skin-to-skin contact.  For example, Herpes is a common STI that can be caught through kissing someone who has a cold sore around their mouth. Hand-to-genital contact can also result in a sexually transmitted infection. 
Better2Know provides Genital Wart treatment at our private sexual health clinic in Dubai. Conveniently located in Jumeriah Beach, you can organise your confidential appointment for a time and date that suits you. Our expert sexual health advisors are available 24/7 to help you with your private booking.
Better2Know’s exclusive instant testing range provides rapid, reliable STI results for six sexually transmitted infections. Available at our private STI clinics in Dubai, you can receive fast, accurate STI results for:
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
Better2Know provides confidential and extensive STI testing at our private sexual health clinics in Manama. You can get tested for a wide range of sexually transmitted infections including:
- Herpes I/II
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- HPV/Genital Warts
More than 26 million people in the Middle East and North Africa region have curable sexually transmitted infections.  There is a stigma associated with STIs, particularly regarding the topic of who gets infected. This could be due to misinformation or a lack education around sexual health. It is important to remember that STIs do not discriminate; anyone can be affected by sexually transmitted infections. 
During her Tedx Talk ‘Love Should Not Kill’, Narges Dorratoltaj, co-founder of CTRL-S, promotes the need to increase awareness about STIs and sexual health in the Middle East. She said there is a stigma associated with STIs and that CTRL-S often received questions from females who are experiencing symptoms, but do not feel comfortable seeing a physician. 
When Should I Get Tested for an STI?
It is advisable to get tested for sexually transmitted infections regularly. This helps to prevent an untreated STI from triggering the development of further issues that may affect your long-term health.  You should arrange an STI test as soon as possible if any of the following circumstances relate to your current situation :
- You have met a new partner.
- You have multiple partners.
- A recent or previous partner has told you they are positive for an STI.
- You are experiencing symptoms you are worried about.
- It has been a while since you got tested.
- You had a recent sexual encounter that worries you.
- You are concerned about your sexual health.
Confidential and Accurate STI Testing in Kuwait City
Better2Know is the largest provider of confidential STI tests and screens in the Middle East. Our private STI testing services are performed in line with the highest international standards of quality and care. Better2Know’s STI tests and screens are designed with your sexual health concerns in mind. These are also regularly reviewed to ensure you receive the most up-to-date testing available.
Better2Know is the largest provider of private STI testing services in the Middle East. Our sexual health clinics are conveniently located throughout the region including in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and across the UAE. Better2Know’s wide range of confidential STI tests and screens are designed with your sexual health concerns in mind. Our private STI testing services in the Middle East are performed in line with the highest standards of quality and care.