Preventing Cervical Cancer: The Importance of Vaccines and Smear Tests

A widespread HPV vaccination programme is in place throughout UK schools, aiming to drastically reduce rates of cervical cancer [1]. However, researchers have doubts about the effectiveness of the programme, whilst a reported 54 per cent increase in cervical cancer rates amongst women aged 25-29 suggests halted progress [2].

Is sexual health in the UK spiralling out of control?

Are you thinking about getting tested for STIs? With recent news surrounding a significant rise in the prevalence of Gonorrhoea and Syphilis in the UK, the importance of sexual health testing cannot be ignored.

How to look after your sexual health in the face of government cuts

Over a quarter of local governments have reduced spending on sexual health testing and treatment services by at least a fifth [1]. These significant cuts put sexual health across the UK at risk. Vulnerable groups, such as drug users, and other high-risk groups, including men who have sex with men (MSM) and young people, are finding it increasingly difficult to access sexual health services [2].

A New Era of HIV Prevention

Recent figures confirm that the UK continues to make significant progress towards eliminating HIV transmission. Whilst the total number of new HIV infections has decreased, diagnoses have fallen by 71 per cent amongst gay and bisexual men. This significant decline has been attributed to several successful preventative measures including widespread testing and increased use of PrEP.

Nearly half of women are dissatisfied with their sexual health

Research suggests that many women in the UK have ‘poor’ sexual health, markedly worse than men. Those considered to have ‘good’ sexual health – a low probability of any sexual health problems – consisted of 83% of men but only 52% of women. The study concluded that women have a wider range of issues surrounding sexual health.

Tested positive for an STI? Here’s what you should do

For most people, testing positive for a sexually transmitted infection (STI) can feel daunting. You may be thinking ‘What do I do now?’, ‘Who should I tell?’, ‘How do I get rid of it?’. There are several sensible steps you should take following a positive STI test result.

7 reasons to have an STI test in the New Year

The beginning of a new year brings time to reflect, make new resolutions and plan for the year ahead. Why not start 2020 feeling confident about your sexual health? Testing for STIs with Better2Know is simple and quick. With discreet clinics and fast results, there are plenty of reasons why you should book your sexual health test today.

Vaginal discharge – Should I be worried?

In many cases, vaginal discharge is normal. Any significant change in the colour, odour, consistency or amount of discharge, however, can indicate that it may be time for an STI test. There are signs to look out for which may suggest either abnormal or normal reasons for variations in discharge. If you are worried that yours is abnormal and you may have been at risk of an STI, it is always a good idea to get tested.

Merry Christmas from all at Better2Know

We would like to wish all our patients, clinic partners, blog readers and everyone else we work with in the UK a very Merry Christmas and a happy, successful New Year.

STI advice for lesbian and bisexual women

There is often a misunderstanding about which STIs women who have sex with women (WSW) are at risk of and how these STIs are passed. Firstly, it is important to understand that lesbian and bisexual women are not immune to STIs. This means that you should get tested if you may have been at risk.

Why you should never self-diagnose an STI

Research suggests that many individuals are now turning to social media and online platforms to obtain a ‘crowd-diagnosis’. [1] This can lead to misdiagnosis, ineffective treatment and further spread of infection. The only way to know whether you have an STI is to get tested.

World AIDS Day 2019

Since 1988, World AIDS Day takes place on the 1st December every year to support those who are living with HIV, and to remember those who have died from HIV/AIDS. [1] Each year, a theme is set for World AIDS Day. This year the theme is ‘Communities make the difference’ – emphasising the essential role that communities play in the AIDS response at local, national and international levels. [2]

Penis Discharge: Do I have an STI?

Whilst discharge coming from your penis may be alarming, there isn’t necessarily a need to panic. There are several other reasons why discharge may occur, other than STIs. However, if you are at risk of an STI, it is always a good idea to get tested. Unusual discharge could indicate a need to visit a sexual health clinic.

Which STDs can be checked with a blood test?

Testing for STDs and STIs with a blood test is quick and simple. Whilst a needle isn’t everyone’s first choice, many blood tests are now performed by simply pricking the end of the finger and collecting a small drop of blood. But which STIs can be tested for by blood, and how does it work? Here we summarise the testing methods for various STIs.

Your partner has cheated: 5 sensible steps to take

Infidelity is one of the hardest things to deal with. You may be left feeling like your life is a lie and that you cannot trust anyone. Whether it’s your boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband, it is never going to be easy. There are several steps you can take to protect your mental and physical wellbeing during such a difficult time.

7 things to consider after a one-night stand

A one-night stand is nothing to be ashamed about. Having casual sex is a normal part of many people’s lives. What’s important is taking the necessary steps after a one-night stand. Here are our top tips to protect your health and wellbeing.

Better2Know celebrate Gold Stevie Award in Vienna

The International Business Awards were celebrated at the ANDAZ Hotel am Belvedere in Vienna, Austria on 19 October. At the awards ceremony, Better2Know was crowned the top company in the Health Products and Services category. CEO and co-founder, Mike Asher, was presented with the prestigious Gold Award.

STIs on the rise amongst the older generation

A study by Age UK indicates a rise in the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among older people. The stigma associated with STIs presents a barrier for many in taking care of their sexual health. Unfortunately, age does not equal immunity when it comes to STIs. Knowing your sexual health status is important no matter how old you are.

Feeling anxious about your STI test?

Our health is one of the most important things in life. Just as many people feel nervous about speaking to a GP, it is also perfectly normal to feel uneasy about having a sexual health check-up. The Better2Know service makes your STI test as simple, discrete and stress-free as possible.

Living with HIV: Let’s beat the stigma

Associating HIV with death must be stopped. This is no longer the reality. This week, former rugby player Gareth Thomas publicly announced his HIV status in the hope of changing perceptions on living with HIV. “I’ve got HIV and it’s OK”, he said. In light of this, we want to help beat the stigma and eradicate the myths surrounding life with HIV.

What you need to know ahead of Freshers’ week

Freshers’ week marks the start of a new adventure. Meeting new people, living independently and enjoying new experiences. One whole week to socialise in your new city before the real studying at university begins. There are a few important things to bear in mind as Freshers’ week approaches.

New HIV diagnoses at lowest rate for almost 20 years

New diagnoses of HIV in the UK have fallen over a quarter between 2015 and 2018, according to Public Health England. The Government has proposed a new target to end HIV transmissions by 2030. The recent significant fall in new diagnoses of HIV has been attributed to several contributing factors.

The truth about Trichomoniasis

It’s the STI unheard of by most people. Yet, if left untreated, Trichomoniasis can lead to health complications for both men and women. So why is nobody talking about it? Here we answer some commonly asked questions about this STI.

Stigma around STIs: Why does it still exist?

It’s 2019. We have freedom of speech, freedom of movement, and freedom to have consensual sex with whoever we want, whenever we want. So why does society still frown upon a positive STI result? With the rates for many STIs on the rise, Better2Know encourages everyone who may have been at risk to get tested. A positive STI result does not define you.

Gonorrhoea in Northern Ireland at highest recorded level

New data published by the Public Health Agency reported that cases of Gonorrhoea in Northern Ireland have reached a record high. Diagnoses increased 30% in 2018, with the majority found in men. This significant increase poses risks surrounding antibiotic resistance to the infection.

Sexual health advice to share with your friends

Sexual health isn’t often the topic of conversation with friends. So, let’s talk. Be wise when you are drinking alcohol. Not everyone around you is necessarily there for a good time. Recent research suggests that incidents of drink spiking in the UK have doubled in the last few years. This significant rise poses a risk to both you and your sexual health, so here are our top tips on how to stay safe.

Toiletry bag essentials for your summer clubbing holiday

Summer. What’s not to love? No doubt the party holiday you’ve been waiting for all year is just around the corner. It’s the season to forget about all our worries, but that often means forgetting about important things, too. Condoms. Drinking responsibly. It’s all part of the fun and games. Packing safe sex essentials in your toiletry bag is the answer to avoiding some of the biggest problems a fun-filled summer clubbing holiday can bring.

Holiday Sex: Girls only Getaway

Holiday sex is not just the domain of the lads on tours. Girls on summer holidays are looking for summer loving and summer romance. Holiday sex is a little different to home sex, and there are a couple of things you can do to help the memories stay golden.

1 in 25 people have an STI

New research from a study published by the World Health Organisation, shows that 1 in 25 people around the world have an STI. That is 4% of the population. The study looks only at data for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Trichomonas and Syphilis. So the actual figure is likely to be higher.

Healthy sex on a lad’s summer holiday

If you are looking forward to your summer trip with the boys – whether this is an annual event or your first time – it is important to know what to do to keep yourself safe if you have sex with new people. You know to pack condoms with the kitemark, but what else can you do to help prevent an STI?