STD Testing Ghana and Africa

We currently offer a selection of STD tests (also called STI tests) that should cover your initial needs, and plan to expand our product range in the near future. Take a look at our products and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Our contact information is readily availiable several places on the site, but you can click here to go to our contact page. STDs (or STIs), is a subject with high importance for an individuals health profile and can have a huge impact on your life and social relations. We respect this, and ensure that all your information that you share with us, is private. Furthermore, if you suspect that you might have a sexually transmitted disease, we want to stress that it’s important you get yourself tested. The reson for this is simple: The longer you go without proper treatment, the higher is the risk for serious complications, including inflammation, sores, blisters, blood infection, infertility, reduced life quality as a whole, and – in some cases – death. Therefore, get tested for STD today and check your infection status. In our shop you will find tests for the most common STD’s in Ghana, and the rest of Africa.

STDs, short for sexually transmitted diseases, are reducing the quality of health and life among more and more individuals. Causing difficult health problems, symptoms, and complications, STD’s represent a problem that ought to be treated as soon as possible. In Ghana, each day, there are more individuals, many of who are struggling with the common STD’s in complete silence. Being ashamed to ask for help or simply not having the opportunity or resources to do so, they are the victims of the many devastating STD’s. In the following article, we will share some of the most common STD’s, their symptoms, and treatment methods that are used to eliminate these health problems.

Read more: All you need to know about STDs in Africa

Read More: Why Getting Tested For STD’s Is important

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Who is at risk for STDs?

Every person who is sexually active needs to do regular testing for the common STDs. However, there are certain groups that are encouraged to peruse testing for STDs on a monthly basis. This would include anyone who:

  • Is practicing unprotected sex;
  • Is practicing sex with multiple partners;
  • Is practicing sex with a person who has a known STD;
  • Is a man engaging in sex with other men;
  • Has a medical history of an STD;
  • Is a sex worker;
  • Is forced to have unprotected sexual intercourse, etc.

Chlamydia in Ghana

Chlamydia is a common sexually-transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. Like the other STIs, Chlamydia as well is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse. This includes oral, vaginal, and anal sexual intercourse. It affects both men and women, affecting the women’s cervix, rectum, and/or throat, while it affects the men’s urethra, rectum, and/or throat. About 90% of women and 70% of men are unaware of the presence of Chlamydia since, in most cases, it does not cause any symptoms, which is why Chlamydia is often referred to as “the silent infection.” The potential symptoms in women include vaginal discharge, painful sexual intercourse, pain in the lower abdomen, etc. In men, symptoms such as yellow discharge from the penis, pain in the testicles, and painful urination often develop.

Read More: What is chlamydia and why get tested at home

Chlamydia is representing a serious health problem in Ghana, Africa. In 2008, a study revealed about 9.1% African adults being affected by Chlamydia. Another study from 2010 has revealed that Chlamydia has been present within 4.8% of the female participants in the study, in which 1070 women took part. Research has also revealed that young people and women have the highest risk of being affected by Chlamydia in their lifetime. On the other hand, men, when affected, are less likely to seek help and proper treatment. Either a urine sample of a swab is used to help confirm the presence of Chlamydia. Chlamydia is efficiently cured with the use of antibiotics. If left untreated, it can lead to health risks such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and many more. This is why diagnosing it and treating it in its early stages is a must.

Read More: Chlamydia Information

Read More: Chlamydia in Ghana

Genital herpes in Ghana

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that causes herpetic sores to appear. The sores are painful blisters that often break and ooze fluid. It is caused by two viruses – HSV-1 and HSV-2 (Herpes simplex virus). Of the two, it is HSV-2 that is most commonly linked as the cause for genital herpes. Genital herpes can be spread from person to person through the act of unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex, but also by direct skin-to-skin contact and kissing. The first sores occur about two days after the virus has been transmitted. Symptoms include visible and painful blisters around the penis, vagina, anus, and buttocks. Blisters may occur inside the mouth, throat, lips, face, and anywhere else that came in direct skin-to-skin contact with the infected person.

Read More: Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is yet another STD that is found to pose a big threat to the population in Ghana, Africa. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the highest prevalence of genital herpes was reported in Africa, affecting around 118 million adults (HSV-1) and 19.2 million adults (HSV-2). It has been found that there is a high prevalence of genital herpes among women in Ghana. Another study investigated the prevalence of genital herpes, specifically among asymptomatic women. The study revealed the presence of genital herpes among 42.9% (HSV-1) and 35.0% (HSV-2) of the women in Ghana. Genital herpes can be easily transmitted to the fetus during pregnancy, to which complications such as blindness, brain damage, and even death can follow. Genital herpes is efficiently diagnosed by collecting a blood sample and a swab from the sores that are present. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the herpes simplex virus. However, there are effective treatment methods that can reduce the outbreaks and speed up the healing time. There are various medications that are used to reduce the present hepatic sores, in addition to reducing the number of outbreaks in the future.

Read More: Genital Herpes in Ghana

Syphilis in Ghana

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum. The disease, like the others, is transmitted through unprotected oral, vaginal, and anal sexual intercourse. There are four known stages of Syphilis, including primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary, with it being most infectious in the first and second stages. In the first stage, characteristic sores, known as chancres, occur. They are small, painful blisters that can occur anywhere on the body, including the genital organs, anus, rectum, and mouth. In the second stage, a so-called copper-penny rash on the palms and the feet develops. Moist wart-like lesions may develop as well. During the latent stage, the infection remains hidden without any present symptoms. In the last stage, enter those who have failed to receive proper treatment during the first three stages. Tertiary syphilis is considered to be life-threatening, causing difficult health risks such as deafness, blindness, memory loss, neurological disorders, heart disease, etc.

Read More: Syphilis

During the period between 2012 and 2016, it has been estimated that the prevalence of Syphilis in Ghana is approximately 2.58%. Research published in 2019 revealed two significant risk factors for the high prevalence of Syphilis in Ghana. It has been suggested that living in rural communities and having a history of coerced sexual intercourse significantly increases the risk for Syphilis. Syphilis is easily diagnosed by performing a physical exam and taking a swab from a present sore. If any nervous system complications are suspected, a spinal tap can be performed, as well. Its treatment involves the use of penicillin for the first and second stage Syphilis. Unfortunately, any damage that has been done by late Syphilis cannot be reversed as the complications are permanent.

Read More: Syphilis in Ghana

Gonorrhea in Ghana

Caused by an infection with the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection that can occur in the eyes, throat, vagina, urethra, anus, and around the female reproductive system. It is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex. Gonorrhea is also transmitted during childbirth, in which case, it is the baby’s eyes that are most commonly affected by the infection. In many cases, Gonorrhea does not cause any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can affect any part of the body, focusing on the male and female reproductive systems. In men, symptoms such as pus discharge from the penis, painful urination, and pain in one of the testicles are to be expected. Women have reported experiencing painful urination, vaginal discharge, painful intercourse, and abdominal pain due to a Gonorrhea infection. Gonorrhea can affect the joints as well, causing septic arthritis to develop. Having Gonorrhea has been reported to increase the risk of other sexually transmitted diseases, with a focus on HIV.

Read More: HIV and AIDS (if you test positive for Gonorrhea the risk prevalence of HIV should also be tested for).

Read More: Gonorrhea

Looking into the statistical data for Ghana, Gonorrhea has been estimated to be present in about 6.6% of the women, and 3.5% of the men. Once again, living in rural communities and having a past history of coerced sexual intercourse raises the risk of being affected by this sexually transmitted disease. Unfortunately, many patients with Gonorrhea skip on asking for help, which makes them more vulnerable to complications such as infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, heart valve damage, inflammation to the lining of the brain, or spinal cord, etc. The treatment for Gonorrhea involves the use of antibiotics that cause almost immediate symptom relief. The most effective prevention method for Gonorrhea, including all of the other sexually transmitted diseases that we discussed so far, is always using a latex condom during any type of sexual intercourse. Gonorrhea is easily diagnosed by taking a urine sample or a vaginal swab. Regular testing for Gonorrhea, especially if you are a man who is having sexual intercourse with men or you have any other STDs, is a must.

Read more: Gonorrhea in Ghana

Syphilis, Gonorrhea, genital herpes, and Chlamydia are the four common STDs that every day put the lives of the population of Ghana in serious danger. Research reveals a high prevalence of the common STDs among the population of Ghana. It is of vital importance that their symptoms would be diagnosed and treated properly as soon as the infection has been revealed as a way to preserve the individuals’ health and life.

STDs are widespread in Ghana and Africa

Sexually transmitted diseases are widespread in Ghana and Africa at large. Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, herpes, and Syphilis are the most common in Ghana. Dating back in the pre-colonial era, STDs have had a huge negative impact on the country. Gonorrhea and syphilis were the first to be introduced in the southern parts of the country by the European settlers, and gradually spread to the whole country.

In Ghana, Sexually Transmitted Diseases are handled by the National AIDS Control Council. This started in the year 1993 when STDs were identified as a huge co-factor in HIV acquisition and has borne some significant results.

Consequences

  • Leads to Death(primary or secondary)
  • Cause Cervical cancer
  • Leads to Infertility
  • Causes Pelvic Inflammatory diseases
  • Ectopic pregnancies

Prevalence

Sexually active individuals comprising of the youths and adolescents are at the greatest risk. The reason for this is because of a lack of knowledge, immature reproductive systems, and existing misconceptions. One survey indicates that gonorrhea is more prevalent in males (43.1%), while chlamydia is more prevalent in females (8.2%). To add on that, data from another study shows prevalence is low in Ghana as compared to other West African countries such as Guinee and Mali. Additionally, it provides an estimate of about 1.9% and 3.2% prevalence among the general population.

Outreach

As early as 1993, the government of Ghana through the department of health had started conducting campaigns to the health workers on AIDS/STDs prevention, detection, and treatment. Like many other African countries, the full attention of STIs was received at the advent of HIV due to their relationship. While the government has carried out massive campaigns on the prevention of HIV, STDs control and treatment stands to benefit. For example, an awareness campaign on the use of a condom will prevent an individual from contracting an STI to prevent the contraction of HIV. It’s the “kill two birds with one stone” strategy that’s benefiting the fight against Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

Challenges

Low use of condoms as a form of protection remains a major obstacle against the fight on Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV. Another obstacle in the fight against STIs in Ghana is the lack of proper resources because most people are treated clinically without tests.

On the other hand, drug abuse, such as alcohol, is also a challenge. According to a survey done, most cases of gonorrhea were associated with alcohol use. Furthermore, lack of proper medical records at facilities limits the government’s estimates i.e., most data that is available is for women attending antenatal clinics, and thus, poor estimates are made.

According to a survey done among 150 adults in Accra, 92.1% had received sex education earlier. 42.1% of the respondents had more than one sexual partner, while 35.7% had used a condom for protection. 78.6% were aware that they could contract STDs by having unprotected sex. This survey indicated that sex education has no effects on the youth’s sexual behaviors.

Further, it elicits a very important aspect in that sex education is high, but the incidence of STDs proves otherwise. Refusal to report about being infected is the only explanation that can be given. Due to fear of society, most people result in self-medication via antibiotics, which is risky to them and a challenge for Ghana.

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