Getting tested is the hard part done. No more wondering if that itch, rash, or pain when you urinate will go away. No more worrying about going to see your doctor, or sitting in the waiting room feeling like everyone knows why you’re there (FYI: they don’t at Better2Know clinics). You now know your STI status and can now receive treatment to clear or manage the infection. The next step is to notify sexual partners (past and present) of your status. Please ask them to book an STI testing appointment. This may seem daunting, but their health is at risk. It is not fair on them not to tell them. Protecting your partner, it is a conversation you will need to have.
Whether you are exhibiting concerning symptoms, or are simply concerned about your sexual health, then you should book an STI test. If this is your first time getting tested, there is nothing to be afraid of. You should feel confident that you are taking control of your sexual health. Everyone’s experience with sexually transmitted infections differ. Some might suffer from painful or worrying symptoms such as blisters, unusual discharge or pain during sex, whilst others may experience no signs of an STI at all.
Better2Know’s Founders Michael Asher and Anthea Morris are regional finalists for two awards. The awards celebrate Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Best Practice examples of what being a Director is all about.
Our friends in America promote women’s health month in May every year. This awareness raising programme of events looks at many different aspects of women’s health including: Cervical Cancer Prevention, self-care, orgasms and sexual well being and the menopause.
British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) recently updated standards
for the management of sexually transmitted infections to help healthcare
establishments, government-funded and otherwise, ensure they are providing high
quality sexual health services for their patients. The clinical recommendations
are relevant for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections has risen by a third in people
ages between 50 and 70. With increasing rates of divorce and online dating fuelling
the surge in casual sex, the sexual health of the generation who may not have
had access to sex education is threatened. Stigma and discrimination are not encouraging
this commonly overlooked population to get the help and advice they need
regarding their personal risk to STIs.
Research suggests that there has been a
10-fold increase in HIV infections amongst drugs users in Glasgow. Britain has
not suffered an outbreak of this scale since the 1980s and the epidemic is not
being contained. With few places to get clean injecting kits, drug users are resorting
to sharing needles. Even though Glasgow’s NHS has introduced needle exchange
points to reach addicts on the streets, the virus is still rapidly spreading.
The HPV vaccine has exceeded experts’
initial expectations with a recent study suggesting that the routine
vaccination of young girls in Scotland has led to a significant reduction of cervical
cancer cases later in life.
One of BBC’s reporters recently went undercover
to investigate the illegal online trade of drugs that is endangering the sexual
health of the UK population. The unlicensed antibiotics were advertised through
social media as treatment for sexually transmitted infections; the drugs were
not only illegal – with some not even being prescribed anymore – but also sold
at the wrong dose.
News of a man
being ‘cured’ of HIV in the UK is circulating. The London patient, who
was being treated for cancer, now has undetectable HIV viral loads and is no
longer taking HIV medication following his stem cell transplant. Despite this,
researchers say it is too early to say that the patient has been ‘cured’. Though this
case may bring hope for a cure to those living with HIV, it is still only the second case of its kind. The therapy is also not suitable as
standard HIV treatment due to the toxicity of chemotherapy, which was initially
used to target the patient’s cancer – not his HIV infection. This recent case raises
questions as to how well the country is doing in terms of treatment and overall
HIV statistics in the UK.