Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of the questions we are asked most often. You will find additional information about our services, and STIs in the information below. Click on each question to reveal the answer.

What are some of the symptoms that I can be treated for?

Most STDs do not have symptoms but can cause long term health problems if they are not treated. Common symptoms which can be diagnosed and treated include:

  • Discharge through the urethra or vagina, which can be pus-like or watery
  • Burning sensation when going to the loo to pass urine
  • Urgency and increased frequency to pass urine during the day and/or at night
  • Ulcer or break in the continuation of the skin or mucus in the genital area or mouth (this may or may not be painful)
  • Swelling in the genital area
  • Rash in the genital area or on the body: especially if it is red, flat or raised, itchy or non-itchy, painful or painless
  • Discomfort during intercourse or ejaculation
  • Unusual bleeding in between periods and after intercourse
  • Blood in urine
  • Difficulty or pain on penetration 
  • Pain in the genital area.
Are sexually transmitted infections common?

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are very common in the Middle East. Most people do not get tested regularly, and so the problem is growing each year. The only way to know for sure is to get tested. Around 1 in 5 people have or have had a Chlamydia infection.

Why get tested for an STD or HIV?

Many STIs are asymptomatic for long periods of time. This means that you may not have any symptoms, but the infection is causing damage to your body. This can be the main reason people do not get tested, and because of this they risk of infecting another partner unknowingly.

There are serious long term health risks to an untreated STI. These can include:

Infertility (in both men and women)
  • Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea are the most important preventable causes of infertility. An infection with another STI can increase the risk of miscarriage and pre-term pregnancy.
Increased Risk of Cancer (in both men and women)
  • Men with a history of Gonorrhoea infections are more likely to develop prostate cancer.
  • Persistent HPV infections are recognised as the major cause of cervical cancer in women, and have been found to be the cause of other cancers of the anus, vulva, vagina, penis, mouth, throat and oropharynx.
Increased Risk of Other Infections, Especially HIV (in both men and women)
  • STDs are the primary risk factor in HIV transmission. If you already have one STI, you are two to five times more likely than someone who does not have an STI to acquire HIV, if you have sex with someone who is HIV positive.
Increased Risk of Mother to Child Transmission and Death or Disability to Your Baby

STIs can lead to problems for newborn babies, including:

  • Severe neurological damage, mental retardation or death
  • Miscarriage or early delivery
  • Blindness, eye infections, or pneumonia
  • General deformities, delay in development, or seizures.
How long does it take to get the test results?

This depends on the screens and tests you choose. All our tests are back within five days of your sample being received in the laboratory.

When can I be seen for my test?

All our centres are open seven days a week, so you can choose a time which is best for you.

Why should I be treated for STIs?

Not treating an STI can have drastic consequences. For example Chlamydia, when left untreated, can result in Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women. In men, it can cause inflammation of the testes, prostate and suffer from infertility.

Untreated Syphilis can lead to heart failure and/ or mental health disorders in the long term.

Hepatitis infections can cause liver failure, liver cancer and can in the worse cases, require a liver transplant.

It is very important to regularly access medication if you are HIV positive. HIV can destroy your immune system and can result in opportunistic infections and cancers. It can even be fatal if not treated in a timely manner. 

What are the costs involved in tests?

Please refer to the prices section of our website.  All our tests must be paid for in advance.

Is all information confidential about my STD test?

Yes. All your details and test results are treated as highly confidential. Better2Know and our partners comply with all national laws and regulations. You may be asked to provide identification at the time your sample is collected and in some countries certain positive test results are required to be reported to local Health Authorities.

Do I need referral letter from my Doctor?

No. All Better2Know tests are self-referred.

What should I do if I have a STD?

You should tell all sexual partner(s) who may have been exposed. You should suggest that they get tested and tell them which STIs you have been tested for. If you feel that you cannot tell your partner(s) then we can help you.  

You and your current sexual partner(s) need to get treated at the same time or you may re-infect each other.

Make sure you follow your doctors instructions for taking all medications. You must finish all of the medicine prescribed, even if you feel better. Do not have sex again for a week after you have finished your prescription.