Chlamydia Treatment with Antibiotics

Chlamydia Information

Chlamydia is one of the most frequent STIs in the world, affecting more than 1,700,000 people all across the U.S. Records show that many of these cases remain unreported because people don’t get tested or never experience any symptoms.

Read More: Chlamydia in Ghana

Even though our human bodies are well-equipped to fight the infection alone, once it spreads to the reproductive system, the disease becomes too risky. This is a serious issue, and it can result in infertility and inflammation.

The only way to know for sure if an individual is infected is to get tested. As soon as you get diagnosed, you need to seek treatment, and this is the first and most important thing for managing the disease. Anyone who seeks treatment will receive proper antibiotics after thorough testing.

Product: Right Sign Chlamydia Test

Product: One Step Chlamydia Test

What Causes Chlamydia?

Chlamydia trachomatis is the bacteria responsible for the disease, and it infects the cells in the urinary tract. This type of bacteria can live in the cervix (the low end of the womb), vagina, urethra (a tube that connects the bladder), rectum, throat, and the eyes. Anyone can transmit it and get it. The only way to transmit it is via sexual contact as long as the individual comes in direct contact with infected semen or vaginal fluids.

Read More: Fact About the Chlamydia Bacteria

When to Get Treatment?

If you suspect you have any symptoms that may indicate a chlamydia infection, seek treatment immediately. Ask your doctor for evaluation and check your medical history for further information that may have anything to do with your sexual life.

Your doctor will determine if you need to receive proper treatment and when to start using adequate antibiotics.

Read More: Chlamydia Treatment

The Different Types of Antibiotics Used for Treating Chlamydia

Based on statistics, 95% of all the individuals infected can be treated with antibiotics. One of the most common antibiotics prescribed are:

  • Doxycycline
  • Azithromycin

Doxycycline antibiotics are taken two times a day for a week, while Azithromycin can only be taken at once as 2-4 tablets.

 If you are allergic to something you are breastfeeding or pregnant, you might receive different antibiotics based on your condition or potential complications. Side effects are possible, but mild. There is a chance of diarrhea, stomach pain, vaginal thrush, etc. 

Doxycycline

Doxycycline is designed to fight the bacteria inside the body. It can treat multiple different infections, from simple ones such as acne to something as serious as chlamydia. The purpose of this antibiotic is to boost the immune system. It affects the production of toxins and inhibits its growth. But, once a patient has started taking these antibiotics, that patient must avoid sexual intercourse while the treatment lasts. After a couple of weeks, if the symptoms still persist, or you believe the infection has reappeared, you can be tested.

Azithromycin

Azithromycin is an extremely powerful antibiotic that attacks the bacteria. It’s only main goal is to kill it. This type of antibiotic is only given to those who can’t be treated with Doxycycline. It’s a fast and potent treatment that can get rid of the bacteria left in the system.

Read More: What’s Chlamydia and Benefits of Testing at Home

References

https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia-detailed.htm

https://www.fpa.org.uk/sites/default/files/chlamydia-information-and-advice.pdf

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chlamydia/treatment/

Facts about Chlamydia Bacteria

Chlamydia Information

Chlamydia belongs to the venereal diseases close to gonorrhea. You may wonder that Chlamydia is most prevalent among adolescents and young adults.

This is because most people mistake this disease with gonorrhea. Chlamydia is transmitted through sexual encounters or exposure to genital fluids.

The Chlamydia causing bacteria chlamydia trachomatis is commonly known as trachomatis. As you have seen, it is the young and most knowledgeable that are at risk of the disease. Thus, it is prudent for them to have all they need to know about Chlamydia.

Risks of Chlamydia Trachomatis

The vulnerable groups from this disease are people within the age group 15 to 25. It is the group that is actively involved in childbearing. Some of the symptoms of the disease include

  • Inflammation of the genitals
  • Pain in the pelvic region
  • Yellowish green discharge from the genital
  • Fever and sore throat
  • Premenstrual bleeding for women
  • In some cases, anal Chlamydia may occur

The longtime risks of chlamydia range from severe damage to the reproductive organs in both men and women. In pregnant women, there is a potential of infecting the child at birth. The outcome may be damage to the eyes, lungs, and skin. In the long run, the baby may suffer blindness and have a deficiency in immunity.

The most profound advantage of the chlamydia bacteria is the ability to stay in a host without detection. It can reproduce and continue infecting the person without showing any clinical signs.

This helps it to spread from one person to another with ease. Women tend to inhibit the bacteria for longer than men.

Read More: Chlamydia Symptoms

Diagnosis and Treatment

Apart from regular questions about your history and concerns, the doctor carries a physical observation. Samples from the genitals go for testing in the laboratory.

Sometimes, further tests may come from the throat, anus, and the sores. After the results, the doctor prescribes medication.

The treatment of the bacteria is through antibiotics. Usually, the dose goes for about a week. It is paramount to abstain from sex during and after the medication until the doctor certifies your recovery.

At no point should one skip or negate on taking the drug. Though it is easy to treat, the damage on the organs if untreated can be long term.

Read More: Chlamydia Treatment With Antibiotics

Read More: Chlamydia Treatment

Prevention

There is no possible way to prevent Chlamydia apart from abstinence from sex. In case you cannot manage that, practicing safe sex comes next. Make sure there is no genital to body contact unless there is protection. Regular screening for both partners will help protect each other and early detection.

Ultimately, one should weigh the options ahead. Is it the pleasure of having unsafe sex and contracting chlamydia bacteria, or being safe and reserving your reproductive organs for the future.

Read More: Chlamydia in Ghana

References

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-018-3477-y

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-019-4035-y

http://ir.knust.edu.gh/bitstream/123456789/8024/1/Chlamydia%20trachomatis%20prevalence%20in%20two%20Accra%20hospitals%20in%20%20%20%20%20%20the%20Greater%20Accra%20Region%20and%20thre.pdf

What’s Herpes and Benefits of Testing at Home

Herpes Information

Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and infections (STIs) are widely prevalent across the globe, particularly in low- to middle-income countries, and Ghana is no exception. Genital herpes is one of the most common STDs, but most people don’t even know they have it. That’s where the tests step in. What are herpes and its causes? Why get tested? What are the benefits of home tests? Learn more below.

See all STD Test Kits

What is herpes?

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a viral infection that usually affects the mouth, genitals, and the anal area. We can divide HSV cases into two main types: HSV-1, which mainly causes oral herpes and HSV-2, which primarily causes genital herpes.

Due to this fact, HSV is a contagious virus, and it is transmitted through direct contact from one person to another. When it comes to the HSV-2 virus, a person becomes infected through sexual contact with a man or woman who already has this virus.

Who is at risk of herpes?

Generally speaking, everyone can develop herpes, but some people are at a higher risk than others. Common risk factors for genital herpes include:

  • Weak immune system
  • Having multiple sex partners
  • Having another sexually transmitted infection
  • Having sexual intercourse at a young age
  • Being a woman

Studies show that the seroprevalence of both HSV-1 and HSV-2 among women in Ghana is high. High prevalence of herpes could be down to high endemicity and ineffective intervention in women across the country. Seroprevalence is defined as the number of people in a certain population who test positive for some disease or condition based on blood serum (serology) specimen. Scientists found that there is low awareness of the clinical symptoms and other aspects of herpes among women. That’s why raising public awareness of genital herpes, symptoms, causes, could help lower the prevalence of this problem.

Read More: Genital Herpes in Ghana

What are the symptoms of herpes?

What many people don’t realize is that they can have herpes virus and still not display any symptoms. So, just because you don’t have visible symptoms, it doesn’t mean you are not infected or that you cannot transmit the infection to someone else. When symptoms do occur, they are:

  • Pain during urination
  • Blistering sores on genitals
  • Itching

It’s also useful to mention some people may experience flu-like symptoms such as tiredness, fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache, and lack of appetite.

Read More: Genital Herpes Symptoms

Why get tested for herpes?

The biggest problem in Ghana is the lack of public awareness of genital herpes. That’s the reason behind the growing prevalence. Getting tested for herpes could be a useful strategy to reduce the incidence of genital herpes but also to prevent infected people from transmitting it to others. Getting tested for herpes could also emphasize the importance of safe sex practices.

Generally speaking, it is not recommended to get a blood test for herpes unless symptoms are present. For example, not unless you have sores on your genitals or anus. That being said, reasons to get tested for herpes are numerous, including:

  • Sex partner is infected
  • You’re pregnant, and you or your partner has already had symptoms of genital herpes

Product: Right Sign Herpes Test Kit

Product: One Step Herpes Test

What is the home test for herpes?

Long gone are the days when you needed to schedule an appointment at the doctor’s office to test for herpes. The healthcare system is not that effective to suit a larger group of people, it can be overwhelming to sit in the waiting room to do the test, and there is no flexibility in the whole process. Home tests for herpes are able to fix all these problems.

Home tests for herpes are convenient; everyone can do them without having to schedule an appointment. There is no awkward or any other uncomfortable feeling. At the same time, you can do the test when you feel like you need it; no need to wait for the symptoms to show up first.

Genital Herpes Treatment

For example, if you’re wondering whether you have gotten herpes from someone, this test can show you. Bear in mind it is necessary to wait for about 12 weeks after the sexual activity before you get tested. Home test for herpes may also be useful if you find out your previous sex partner was infected, you’re about to start a new relationship, you have unprotected sex,  you’re very sexually active, and if you used a needle or syringe to inject drugs in your body that an infected person has already used.

All the above-mentioned scenarios are uncomfortable and stressful. Home tests are accurate, precise, and help take away any doubt you might have. Plus, doing the test is incredibly easy and discrete.

Awareness About Genital Herpes in the African Region

In a country like Ghana, where the public awareness of sexually transmitted diseases and infections is low, there is a stigma about deciding to get tested. That’s the reason why many people don’t do so. The home test doesn’t require a trip to some specific location, gives people the privacy they need to learn whether they are infected or not.

Read More: STD’s in Ghana

If you are a sexually active person who doesn’t practice safe sex, you probably want to know whether you have herpes or not, since it’s one of the most common problems that people develop. Finding out has never been easier. You can learn whether you have herpes or not from the comfort of your home, without stress, hassle, and social stigma.

Read More: All you need to know about STD in Africa

Getting a home test for herpes will help you protect yourself in the future, inspire you to be more careful, and also increase awareness of herpes. Thanks to home tests for herpes, people, especially women, have the ability to gain more control over their sexual and reproductive health, modify their lifestyle, and avoid potential problems in the future.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6081947/

https://mariestopes.org.gh/what-we-do/sti-testing/

What Is Chlamydia, Why Get Tested at Home?

Chlamydia Information

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that affects women and men alike. When not treated properly, Chlamydia can cause serious complications. The problem becomes even more severe if we bear in mind that most people are not even aware they have this STD. The importance of getting tested for Chlamydia is undeniable, and now it has become easier than ever to do so.

Product: Chlamydia Private Test Kit

Product: One Step Chlamydia Test

How we get Chlamydia?

Like other STDs, Chlamydia is transmitted through direct contact by having unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex with an infected person. Chlamydia can also spread through genital contact alone. A vast majority of people experience no symptoms of Chlamydia, but they can still spread this STD to someone else. This could explain why the prevalence of this common problem keeps growing.

While every sexually active man and woman can develop Chlamydia, some are at a higher risk than others. Common risk factors for Chlamydia include:

  • History of STDs
  • Having sex without a condom
  • Being sexually active before the age of 25
  • Having multiple sex partners within a year

Read More: Chlamydia in Ghana

Read More: STD Information Africa

What are the symptoms of Chlamydia?

As mentioned above, many people don’t experience symptoms at all, especially when this STD is in its early stages. Generally speaking, symptoms develop one to two weeks after exposure to the bacteria during sexual intercourse. Men and women experience Chlamydia differently. Also, the severity of the symptoms may vary from one person to another.

Symptoms of Chlamydia in women usually involve:

  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Discomfort when urinating
  • A large amount of vaginal discharge often yellow and foul-smelling
  • Low-grade fever
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Swelling in the vagina or around the anus

In most men, Chlamydia manifests itself through pain and burning sensation when urinating, swelling and tenderness of the testicles, and penile discharge.

Read More: Chlamydia Symptoms

How often to get tested?

Symptoms of Chlamydia are uncomfortable and have the ability to disrupt a person’s quality of life. The problem with Chlamydia in countries like Ghana is that the disease can spread due to a lack of public awareness. The healthcare system doesn’t do enough to raise the awareness of Chlamydia and other STDs. As a result, many men and women don’t understand the absence of symptoms doesn’t mean there is no Chlamydia and they may unknowingly spread it to someone else. When not treated in a timely manner, Chlamydia can lead to various complications, particularly in pregnant women.

You should get tested for Chlamydia once a year, especially if you are a female, under the age of 25, or you started having sex at a younger age, don’t use condoms, have a history of STDs. If you tend to switch sex partners, it is also recommended to get tested for Chlamydia more often.

It is also important to mention that if you already have Chlamydia, you should get retested after three months. The reason is simple; getting retested helps determine whether you have spread the infection to someone else or got infected again.

Read More: Why it’s important to get tested for STD’s

Why get tested at home?

Back in time, there were not many options to discover whether you have Chlamydia or not. You would need to book an appointment to see the doctor who ordered tests to be done. The whole process is time-consuming due to wait periods, inadequate healthcare system. When you add to the inefficacy of healthcare, the social stigma surrounding sexually transmitted diseases Chlamydia, it becomes evident why many people do not get tested. The consequences are felt on the national level as more people unknowingly spread Chlamydia to their sex partners who then go on and transmit it onto someone else, the circle keeps going. Most people across the world, including Ghana, do not understand all the aspects of Chlamydia, and they have false security that they’re safe or won’t get it. Everyone can raise public awareness by starting making changes in their lifestyle first. Home testing can help make it happen.

What is the purpose of a home test, you probably wonder? Can it really discover whether I have Chlamydia?

The home test for Chlamydia is, therefore, the ideal solution for men and women who want to learn whether they have this problem or not in the privacy of their home. All that’s necessary is to get the test; no need to schedule an appointment, travel to GP’s office, wait, do the test, come back for results, and feel uncomfortable the whole time. Home tests take away the discomfort from learning whether you have Chlamydia or not. This is a discrete way to be proactive about your sexual health and, in case you have Chlamydia, to avoid spreading it to someone else.

If the result shows you have Chlamydia, you can see your doctor and get the necessary treatment, and that’s it.

The best thing about the Chlamydia test is the fact it’s quick. Results are available fast and with the highest accuracy. Therefore, you can be confident that the results you see are true, reliable, and available to you only.

The chlamydia home test is also easy to use. A few simple steps are necessary to get the sample and get tested — no complicated and time-consuming maneuvers.

Getting tested for Chlamydia is a responsible thing to do, and now people can do it without leaving their homes. A few years back, this wasn’t possible, which possibly led to an increased incidence of Chlamydia. Now you have the opportunity to take control of your sexual and reproductive health. Don’t wait! Get Chlamydia test today and get rid of the stress, discomfort, and other negative emotions that would usually arise before going to the GP’s to get tested.

References:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/8181.php#symptoms

Use of Home Tests for Syphilis

Syphilis information

Syphilis is just one of the many life-threatening sexually transmitted diseases. It threatens to cause some difficult symptoms that can cause great damage to our bodies and minds. And unfortunately, each year, we only hear about new cases of Syphilis with little to no success rate when it comes to treating it as most individuals ask for help little too late. Today, you get to enjoy the privacy of your own home as you get tested for Syphilis and wait for your results to be delivered in just a few days.

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Product: Genital Herpes Test – One Step

What is Syphilis?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. There are three stages of Syphilis infection – primary, secondary, and tertiary. As any other sexually transmitted disease, Syphilis, as well, is transmitted by direct contact with a syphilitic sore on the skin or in the mucous membranes during unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Syphilis can also be transmitted during pregnancy and giving birth.

The prevalence of Syphilis in the Cape Coast in Ghana alone is estimated to be around 8.5%, while the prevalence of Syphilis in Ghana, in general, has been estimated to be approximately 2.58% in the period between 2012 and 2016. Syphilis is highly treatable, especially when detected in its early stage, with using strong antibiotics. Left untreated, Syphilis can lead to a great disability, neurological disorders, and even death.

Read more: Syphilis in Ghana

What are the common Syphilis symptoms?

A syphilitic sore can occur on the mouth, lips, vagina, anus, and/or rectum. The first symptom is a painless sore that, as time passes, enters the second stage when other symptoms occur as well. Oral, anal, and/or genital wart-like sores start to occur, along with a fever, muscle aches, sore throat, weight loss, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, etc. After these symptoms appear, as Syphilis enters its third stage, the symptoms will disappear. It will seem as you are cured, when in fact, this is the hidden stage, which is the most dangerous one of them all. Mental illness, blindness, deafness, memory loss, stroke, meningitis, and heart disease are just some of the most dangerous symptoms of the third stage Syphilis.

Read More: Syphilis Symptoms

Why get tested for Syphilis?

The rates of Syphilis cases are only growing, despite all of the information that is available around us on how to efficiently protect ourselves against the dangerous sexually transmitted diseases. It is important to get tested for any sexually transmitted disease, including Syphilis, keeping all of the dangerous symptoms and health risks that these diseases bring in your life. The best way to prevent any sexually transmitted disease is to use contraceptives, especially when you are having sexual intercourse with a new partner. However, sometimes, the disease has its ways to reach into your life. That is why it is of vital importance to get tested whenever any of the following scenarios happen:

  • You have unprotected sex, especially with a new partner;
  • You have multiple sexual partners;
  • You are HIV positive;
  • You are pregnant;
  • You are a man who has sex with men;
  • You have unprotected sex with a partner who has Syphilis symptoms;
  • You have unprotected sex with a partner who has multiple other sexual partners;
  • You are a sex worker;
  • You are experiencing any Syphilis symptoms.

If you do decide to get tested and the test turns out to be positive, you need to consult your healthcare providers as soon as possible. Only a professional healthcare provider can advise you towards the proper treatment plan for your condition. Syphilis should not, by any means, be left untreated! And as we mentioned earlier, when detected in its early stages, the Syphilis treatment has a good success rate.

Read More: Why STD Testing is Important

Why use home tests to detect any symptoms of Syphilis?

Syphilis is usually diagnosed by performing a physical examination and a blood test. If there is a suspicion that it is a case of Syphilis in its tertiary stage, a lumbar puncture or a spinal tap is being performed. Often, people are feeling ashamed of going to the doctor’s office for an issue that involves their reproductive health and sex life, especially when it comes to getting tested for a sexually transmitted disease. In some cases, a doctor is not available, or it is located far away from the place where the individual is living. Although usually, the cost does not play any role since the testing for any sexually transmitted disease must be covered by medical insurance; doing a home test is usually more convenient. This is where the home tests come in handy.

Home tests for Syphilis come with a self-test kit that contains everything that you need to collect a blood sample that you will later send to a laboratory and get your results in just a few days. The self-test kit usually comes with:

  • A sample tube;
  • A lancet to make a cut on your finger;
  • An alcoholic swap to clean your finger before doing the test;
  • Plasters;
  • Instructions.

Another less commonly used option for a home test is asymptomatic lesion test. A swap is being provided as a part of the self-test kit, which you will be required to rub over the present lesion and later send it over to the laboratory. Most providers offer to determine whether it is a stage 1 or stage 2 Syphilis with this home test. The results usually take 4-5 days before they are delivered back to you.

Read More: Syphilis Treatment

Summary

Home tests are the perfect option that allows keeping track of your reproductive health without going to see your doctor. If you have had unprotected sex in the past, do order your home test of Syphilis to make sure that this infection is not a part of your life. The home test is done in just a few minutes, and you will know the results in a couple of days. Do not hesitate to order your first home test for Syphilis.

Read More: Syphilis: A Brief Overview

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1779891/

https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-syphilis.htm

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/276484782_Seroprevalence_of_Syphilis_Infection_in_Individuals_at_Cape_Coast_Metropolis_Ghana

http://downloads.hindawi.com/journals/jtm/2018/6574731.pdf

https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/health-conditions-and-diseases/hiv-and-other-stds/syphilis-testing-questions-for-the-doctor

The Use of Home Tests for Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea information

Each year, there are more and more Gonorrhea cases, and even worse, there are more cases where Gonorrhea has led to terrifying health issues. And yet, practicing safe sex and getting tested for Gonorrhea and any other STDs seem to be a lot difficult for the people of Ghana.

Because this is a topic like many others that people do not like to talk about, people lack the knowledge that they need to protect themselves against these difficult diseases or even get tested and treated in time. Today, we explore the importance of home tests as an alternative to the tests that are done at the medical facilities. Are the home tests an effective way to get your condition diagnosed?

Product: STD 4-in-1 Test Kit Bundle

Product: One Step Test Kit bundle

What is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacterial infection with the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is transmitted through unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Gonorrhea can also be transmitted during pregnancy and delivery. The best way to protect yourself against Gonorrhea and any other sexually transmitted disease is always to use a proper contraceptive – preferably a latex condom. The number of new Gonorrhea cases grows each year.

Read More: Gonorrhea

According to the latest research, back in 2017 in Ghana, the prevalence of Gonorrhea cases was 6.6% within women, and 3.5% within men. Left untreated, Gonorrhea leads to infertility, damage to the heart muscle, pelvic inflammatory disease, inflammation to the lining of the brain and/or spinal cord, ectopic pregnancy, etc. Gonorrhea is treated using antibiotics and abstaining from sex to prevent the infection from spreading.

Read More: Gonorrhea in Ghana

What are the symptoms of Gonorrhea?

The first symptoms of Gonorrhea are expected to occur within two weeks after exposure. There are also certain individuals that do not develop any noticeable symptoms at the beginning of the infection. They pose a great threat since unaware, and they can easily spread the infection to another partner with whom they engage in unprotected sex.

Read More: Signs and Symptoms of Gonorrhea

The first symptom in men is usually a burning/painful sensation during urination. Further symptoms include swelling of the testicles, swelling and redness of the opening of the penis, increased frequency of urination, and white, yellow, or greenish discharge of the penis.

Among women, the symptoms usually include a watery, greenish discharge from the vagina along with heavier periods, painful or burning sensation during urination, pain during sexual intercourse, fever, etc.

Read More: Gonorrhea Symptoms

Why get tested for Gonorrhea?

Testing for Gonorrhea will help protect you from the harmful risks that are to come with this bacterial infection. It will also help prevent it from spreading to any other individuals with whom you would engage in unprotected sexual intercourse of any kind.

Product: Gonorrhea Private Test

Read More: One Step Gonorrhea Test

All adults that are sexually active are advised to test for Gonorrhea and other STDs, at least once a year or more, depending on their lifestyle. Please do get tested for Gonorrhea as soon as possible if:

  • You engage in unprotected sex;
  • You have multiple sexual partners;
  • You engage in unprotected sex with a person who has present Gonorrhea symptoms;
  • You are a man who engages in sex with other men;
  • You have had Gonorrhea before;
  • You are pregnant;
  • You have other STDs;
  • You are experiencing any Gonorrhea symptoms.

Read More: Testing and Diagnosis of Gonorrhea

Why use a home test for Gonorrhea?

Because talking about STDs, including Gonorrhea, is considered to be a taboo in Ghana, but also because of the high Gonorrhea rates, the home test for Gonorrhea is the perfect solution. The home test for Gonorrhea allows you to check for any Gonorrhea signs before any symptoms have developed and helped protect yourself against any of the risks that this disease is known to carry with itself.

A home test is offering you a chance to find out if you have Gonorrhea while enjoying the privacy of your home. Although Gonorrhea testing, when done in a medical facility, is usually covered by medical insurance, sometimes there is no opportunity for this testing to take place, or simply many people feel more comfortable when they are doing this in privacy even if it costs more.

Gonorrhea is diagnosed by a urine sample and vaginal swap (for women), and this is the principle that the self-test providers follow as well. With the difference, that is, that the self-test is offering you privacy. You are still recommended to consult your doctor about your results.

How to use STD Test Kit

A self-test kit usually comes with either a vaginal swap or a urine sample. Rectal and throat swaps may be available, as well. You take your own sample following the provided instruction, which you will later send over to the laboratory. Usually, the results come after around 72 hours, notifying you if you have tested positive or negative for a Gonorrhea infection. Not to worry, the laboratory facilities are all certified; the tests are FDA-approved, and they all come in the most discreet packaging to ensure the highest privacy possible.

Read More: STD’s in Africa

Read More: Why it’s important to get tested

If you have tested positive, it is of vital importance that you inform your doctor and your partner with whom you have most recently engaged in sexual intercourse of any kind. If you have tested negative and still experience symptoms of any kind, you are still advised to consult your doctor in order to find out the cause for those symptoms.

So, what’s it all about?

Home tests are the answer to your prayers. Now you get to test and find out whether or not you are in need of treatment for Gonorrhea or not in just a couple of hours. Take the easy home test and send the sample; the results come after 72 hours with a low cost and high accuracy. Do not let Gonorrhea pose a threat to your health and to the health of your partner. Get yourself informed, get tested today!

Read More: Gonorrhea Treatment

References

https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea.htm

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0205863

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5354566/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gonorrhea/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351780

All You Need to Know About STDs in Africa

Online STI Test Kits For Home Use

STDs or Sexually Transmitted Diseases are a serious burden for the overall health of many people in Africa. These diseases not only do they affect health, but they also have economic and social consequences. Based on statistics from 2018, more than 20.6 million people in the south and eastern African region have HIV.

Read More: HIV and AIDS

However, the problem doesn’t solely include AIDS or HIV; in fact, it includes HCV, HPV, syphilis, gonorrhea, HBV, and more. The core of the problem begins with the poor knowledge and awareness of Africans regarding STIs. Based on statistics from 35 different countries across Africa, only 66.8% use condoms, and just 42.5% believe it is possible to get HBV from intercourse.

Read More: Gonorrhea in Ghana

Read More: Syphilis in Ghana

Read More: Genital Herps (HSV) in Ghana

Read More: Chlamydia in Ghana

Most people in Africa hide their STIs because they consider it to be disgraceful. This is a cultural phenomenon that has put a strain on the way people deal with the diseases. Patients are afraid to seek help or address the issue. Research from 2017 shows that 37 million people across the globe live with HIV, while 66% of all cases come from the sub-Saharan African region. That is a total of 5.6 million people. In other words, South Africa has the biggest number of people who live with HIV. 

Even though the economy in Africa boomed in mid-2013, it still remains the poorest continent in the world. In South Africa, the number of people infected with HIV continues to grow, but treatments and other forms of support, like counseling, have increased as well. Despite the scientific progress for treating such diseases, cultural traditions and laws remain a barrier for preventing STIs all across the continent.

Main Focus:

  • The Risk Factors Associated with STDs in Ghana
  • AIDS and STDs in Ghana
  • Genital Herpes Is a Serious Issue
  • Syphilis During Pregnancy
  • Current Challenges and Problems to Overcome

The Risk Factors Associated with STDs in Ghana

Based on statistics, more than a million STIs are transmitted across the globe every single day. Some of these STIs can be treated, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, but others can have serious consequences on the overall health.

In all developing countries in Africa, including Ghana, this is a serious issue, since STIs are the most common bacterial infections that can be transmitted in the area.

The reason why this is so important is that such infections as HIV, for example, can be a serious potential epidemic for the entire continent, research shows. These symptoms in females are easily recognizable like:

  • Discharge
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Painful or trouble urinating
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Blood in the urine

However, in many cases, these symptoms don’t appear often making patients delay their necessary treatment or transmit the disease even more. According to research, if the infections are left untreated, they could make women susceptible to complications during pregnancy. They can cause chronic pain in the pelvic area, infertility, pneumonia, or blindness.

The symptoms in males are a little different, studies show. The most typical symptoms may include:

  • Discharge
  • Narrowed urethra
  • Inflamed testicles
  • Sterility

AIDS and STDs in Ghana

Many infectious diseases, like gonorrhea, were first recorded in Ghana before the European settlers colonized the land. In the southern part of Ghana, syphilis and gonorrhea became a serious problem in the 20s. It took years before the problem dissipated. But, during the late 40s, with the arrival of the troops from World War II and laborers, syphilis and gonorrhea cases only spiked once more.

Based on records, the government didn’t take any necessary precautions to stop the spread of the diseases. As a result, people had to find a different alternative that would help ease the symptoms, and that was sulpha drugs. These were, in fact, illegal drugs only sold on the black market in Ghana.

When the first time AIDS was diagnosed, and cases with trichomonas, gonorrhea, and chlamydia were registered, back in 1986, the government turned their attention towards this serious problem. In 1993, programs were introduced to help control the spread of the disease and raise awareness.

However, due to the lack of funds, people can’t afford to insist on using condoms, which remains a serious issue for the African population.

Genital Herpes Is a Serious Issue

According to statistics, a lot more people in Africa have genital herpes compared to the U.S. Researchers believe that identifying the properties of the viruses widespread in Africa could open the door to new possibilities. Particularly in creating vaccines that could help reduce the rampant infections.

The reason why this is so important is that patients who suffer from genital herpes are more at risk of developing AIDS or HIV. Herpes contains many cells, specifically immune cells, that the HIV infection will target.

Based on the same statistics, 90% of adults in the southern African region have genital herpes compared to the 20% in the U.S. Even though herpes is not something that has recently been discovered, it persists in the African community, often affecting a single person for decades.

For people who never notice these symptoms, the virus could be a silent infiltrator that will slowly disintegrate the health over time. It will make the person prone to more serious infections in the near future.

Read More: Genital Herpes (HSV) Symptoms

Syphilis During Pregnancy

Studies show that Africa has a lack of coverage for treatments and screening for syphilis infections in clinics. The benefits of having such treatments have been well-documented across the years. Statistics show that this particular bacterial infection is accountable for 50% of all stillbirths, particularly in Mwanza.

If this infection is properly treated in the African regions, it can help save many lives. However, it remained an unsolved problem in this continent for a long time. It wasn’t until 1992 that the number of pregnant women screened for syphilis elevated to 100%. Compared to 60% during the previous years, it is a welcome change. Furthermore, 50% of their partners also received proper treatment for syphilis, meaning there are a lot of people who have yet to be treated or screened for syphilis.

Read More: Syphilis Symptoms

Control and Management

According to research, despite the valuable efforts to increase public awareness and knowledge of STIs in Africa, all sexually transmitted diseases remain a huge problem for the general public. These diseases result in numerous deaths, problems with pregnancies, cancer, illness, and more.

In fact, Africa is the number one most affected continent by both STIs and HIV in the world, statistics show. Based on the same statistics, around 14.1 million children have been recorded losing both or one of their parents due to sexually transmitted diseases.

Since 2008, effective and high-quality programs have been implemented. Each of these programs focused on providing treatment for HIV and necessary consultations. The idea was to raise awareness and improve the overall cases in different countries around the continent. Since then, 44% of children and adults are now receiving proper treatment. That is a lot more compared to the 2% coverage patients had in 2003.

The coverage for many is fruitful. Unfortunately, there are many individuals in Africa who have yet to attend programs to control their disease. This is the main problem, and a real challenge for the programs since individuals such as these fail to get tested or receive counseling. Most of these individuals are men.

The increase in the effectiveness of the coverage itself is not enough to diminish the real epidemic across the continent. There is a lot more work to be done to prevent this serious issue. More implementations and findings are necessary if the efforts are to continue.

Due to the lack, or the non-existent infection programs in Africa, it is more difficult to control the epidemic.  But, there is one research, previously mentioned, that shows the effect of the already-implemented programs in this region. Since 1999, syphilis and chlamydia infections have drastically decreased, making these programs beneficial and important.

With all the efforts and available counseling, now 85% of the people in Africa are aware they are HIV positive, and 79% of them now get proper treatment, statistics show.

Current Challenges and Problems to Overcome

All the important advances in research for HIV and STDs have been coming from the data collected in Africa. Many of them are now used on a daily basis in clinics around the world. That makes this continent one of the most important places for studying the effects of the infections. 

But, there are three major problems that slow down further improvements and successful treatments. Those problems include:

  • Inadequate funding
  • Lack of workforce that has been trained to work in this environment
  • Proper infrastructure

Without any of these factors, any further success is seriously impaired. Firstly, infections such as gonorrhea require constant management and monitoring to avoid the spread of the infection. Secondly, all the treatments required and testings necessary cost a lot of money. This can put a huge strain on the currently available funds.

To manage the costs, quick and cheap syphilis tests are now conducted in African regions. Another serious problem that affects the whole effect of the program is discrimination. In many, if not all, African countries, it is impossible for healthcare workers to give any help to patience because of the discriminatory law. Lastly, international partners are crucial in programs such as these. Without partners, the research won’t be able to receive proper funding or take up numerous different strategies.

In this current situation, the HPV vaccine is difficult to afford, which is why many people, particularly women, are at risk of cancer or other diseases. To make the vaccine available for everyone, manufacturers should reduce the cost. After all, these vaccines can save a life.

To make sure that children don’t get the same disease, research shows, it is better to implement the HPV vaccine into typical vaccination schedules for children.

There is also another problem that shouldn’t be overlooked. There are some people in Africa who are more vulnerable to STIs than the rest of the population. These people are sex workers, young women, transgender people, men who have intercourse with men, and those who are imprisoned. While others can still get these infections, the people who meet these specific criteria are more exposed to it, making the infection difficult to control.

Conclusion

For Africa, any sexually transmitted infections are a serious problem. This continent has been the main front for STI research in the last couple of decades resulting in numerous valuable research that could potentially be life-saving.

However, such results can’t be achieved over-night. It requires a series of long-term data, dedication, and collaboration with people and partnerships. In the past, STIs were not that focused on, and people had to rely on illegal methods to obtain medications.

When this research was first introduced, it was able to address only specific issues and focus on counseling. But, as the years progressed and the infections spread, more interventions had to be implemented. Due to the strong scientific evidence, the problem of the STIs is now strongly acknowledged making it a top priority to solve.

The approach to the disease was changed in an effort to bring acceptable care for patients in need. As a result, it was possible to implement interventions that would help control the spread of infections.

To overcome this problem, there are plenty of different steps that should be taken. Some of these steps have begun many years ago, but remain an unsolved issue today. The real problem rests in the multiple factors that halt the progress. Despite having the necessary technology and data for controlling such infections, a lack of funding and cultural restrictions make the problem even more difficult to deal with.

Without a proper vaccine, it is almost impossible to prevent HIV in Africa because of how widespread it is. Since the sexual reproductive health in Africa is considered taboo and irrelevant, it makes it more difficult to share awareness and increase overall knowledge.

Cooperating with partners has made training programs, treatments, counseling, and teaching activities possible. These programs have proved effective.

Reference

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0213224

https://www.unaids.org/en/resources/fact-sheet

https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000097

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7705861

https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sexually-transmitted-infections-(stis)

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00007435-200811000-00011

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-019-4035-y

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)61729-2/fulltext

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110415083142.htm#targetText=In%20southern%20Africa%2C%20infection%20rates,percent%20in%20the%20United%20States.&targetText=In%20evolutionary%20terms%2C%20the%20herpes%20viruses%20are%20very%20old.

https://sti.bmj.com/content/87/Suppl_2/ii10

http://data.unaids.org/pub/report/2009/jc1700_epi_update_2009_en.pdf

https://sti.bmj.com/content/86/7/488?ijkey=f61101ad7ea4a6d38d38ad09d08ea667c028b5ad&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

https://www.avert.org/professionals/hiv-around-world/sub-saharan-africa/overview

Chlamydia Treatment

Chlamydia Information

Statistics show that 1 million STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are transmitted every single day. The three most common such infections are gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis, with chlamydia being a huge burden in developing countries such as Ghana. 

Based on studies that analyzed the frequency rate of STIs transmitted in Ghana, chlamydia infections were 20.4%, meaning this is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the region. The same records show that of all the reported cases in the world for chlamydia infection, 9.1 million people infected live in Africa.

Read More: Chlamydia in Ghana

Common Forms of Treatment for Chlamydia

Chlamydia can be treated and managed with antibiotics. But, for the infection to be completely treated, individuals should abstain from sexual intercourse. It’s important to abstain for at least one week or until the antibiotics have been completely used. Otherwise, that individual can risk spreading the infection to their partner.

However, even if the individual has received proper treatment, these antibiotics can’t undo permanent damage. If the infection has seriously affected the reproductive organs, the antibiotics can’t reverse that effect. A typical example is an infertility.

Furthermore, the infection can re-appear, so proper treatments are crucial to avoid the risk of a re-infection. The more chlamydial infections a woman experiences, the higher the risk of developing serious reproductive problems. Such problems are an ectopic pregnancy and pelvic inflammatory disease.

Read More: Modern Chlamydia Treatment

Dealing With Cases that Are Difficult to Treat

Even though this infection can be treated with antibiotics, many fail to get diagnosed on time. Some even build up antibiotic resistance that makes the infection incredibly difficult to treat.

To deal with the increased difficulties in treating chlamydia, WHO (World Health Organization) released a new treatment. This treatment specifically targeted trachoma infections in Ghana, back in 1996. After 20 years of commitment and hard work, the treatment was a success. In the summer of 2018, WHO congratulated Ghana for successfully eliminating trachoma and managing to solve the major health problem in the country.

This remarkable feat saved millions of people suffering from eye pain, redness, and potential blindness due to chlamydia.

Read more: Gonorrhea in the Eye

What Happens If the Infection is Left Untreated?

Chlamydia can be a serious danger for the overall health, not only the reproductive organs but the rectum and eyes as well. For any individual infected with chlamydia infertility, inflammation, pain in the anus, pain during intercourse, bleeding between periods are not uncommon problems.

If an infected individual doesn’t receive proper treatment, this infection can be passed on from a mother to a child. The child can later face pneumonia, eye infections, and potential blindness. For a newborn, these can be extremely difficult health problems to overcome.

Many don’t notice the symptoms of the condition, which is why it’s important to get tested.

Read More: Chlamydia – why get tested at home

References

https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/rtis/stis-new-treatment-guidelines/en/

http://www.ijstr.org/final-print/jan2014/Chlamydia-Trachomatis-Prevalence-In-Ghana-A-Study-At-A-Municipal-District-In-Western-Ghana.pdf

https://www.afro.who.int/news/ghana-eliminates-trachoma-freeing-millions-suffering-and-blindness

https://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/chlamydia#1

https://www.sexwise.fpa.org.uk/stis/chlamydia

Treatment of Gonorrhea: Modern approaches

Gonorrhea information

The treatment of this extremely common sexually transmitted disease has become very difficult for the past decade. Neisseria gonorrhoeae – the causative organism has a particularly strong proclivity to develop antibiotic resistance, and many older treatment regimens have become obsolete. So, what are the current best practices for treatment?

Read more: Gonorrhea Facts

Gonorrhea Medicine

  The current first-line treatment of genital gonorrhea involves:

  • A single dose of a cephalosporin antibiotic (most commonly ceftriaxone 250 mg) given via intramuscular injection
  • Single-dose azithromycin (Zithromax) 1 g.

This regimen is very quick and very convenient, particularly because it is often given immediately in the clinic. Those more scared of needles opt for oral cefixime 400 mg since ceftriaxone is only available in the form of an intramuscular injection. It is important to note that cefixime is not as effective for the various types of infections gonorrhea causes outside the reproductive system (throat infections, bacterial arthritis and etc.), and is thus only seen as an alternative when ceftriaxone is not available.

Read More: Gonorrhea Symptoms

All gonorrhea treatment regimens also take into account the coexistence of chlamydia. These two infections often occur together and are thus treated together.

Alternative treatment of Gonorrhea

An alternative treatment course would incorporate ceftriaxone with a tetracycline antibiotic, most commonly doxycycline. This combination is no longer recommended by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) due to antibiotic resistance. It is generally considered “good practice” to have the local antibiotic resistance characteristics in mind when prescribing. For example, the WHO also states that ceftriaxone or cefixime can be used on their own for treatment provided there is reliable data that the local strain is susceptible to these on their own.

Read More: Why get tested for Gonorrhea

A novel antibiotic for the treatment of gonorrhea is spectinomycin (Trobicin). It is a rarely used antibiotic in the developing world (especially sub-Saharan Africa) due to its cost, having a wholesale cost per dose ranging from 2 to 20 times higher than ceftriaxone or azithromycin. Nevertheless, it can be used as a single treatment, with a 2-gram intramuscular injection enough to fight the most susceptible strains.

There is hope for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea in the future. Research done by the CDC and the National Institute of Health (NIH) has shown that combinations of:

  • Gentamicin plus azithromycin or
  • Gemifloxacin plus azithromycin

 Are more than 99% effective for the treatment of genital gonorrhea. Even better, both of these new combinations are given orally. The CDC has not changed its recommendation, though, noting the significant gastrointestinal side effects of these medications as the cause. With new experimental treatments such as zoliflodacin showing promise, not all is bleak for those with sexually transmitted diseases.

Read More: Gonorrhea in Ghana

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/arg/basic.htm

https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/rtis/gonorrhoea-treatment-guidelines/en/

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/218059-treatment#d9

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165062/

https://www.jwatch.org/na47824/2018/11/07/new-oral-antibiotic-treatment-gonorrhea

Genital Herpes Treatment

Herpes Information

Genital herpes is a ubiquitous disease. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1 in 6 of all adolescents and adults in the US have genital herpes. Further complicating this issue is the fact that we are frequently unable to fully get rid of this infection, borrowing one of my favorite quotes: “Unlike love, herpes lasts forever.” That does not mean we are completely defenseless, though, we have treatments that significantly reduce the symptoms and improve the quality of life for these patients, and that is the topic of this article.

Read More: Genital Herpes Overview

The medications most commonly used in the treatment of genital herpes are:

  • Acyclovir 400 mg thrice daily (standard dosage)
  • Valacyclovir 500 mg twice daily
  • Famcyclovir 250 mg thrice daily

Even though these medications are equally effective, acyclovir is usually the preferred medication, particularly because it is much cheaper than its competitors. The duration of treatment varies by whether the patient has a first outbreak, a repeat episode or is suffering from a severe form of the disease:

  • A duration of 10 days is usually sufficient for a first clinical episode of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection.
  • Recurrent episodes are usually treated for five days.
  • Patients with 4-6 episodes or more per year, or with severe distress during episodes might choose to undergo suppressive therapy, which means treatment for longer periods of time (months to years).

Of course, not all episodes fit the molds of our guidelines. For example, it is acceptable to use double (800 mg) dose acyclovir for five days for severe episodes or use a shorter two-day course with double the dosage to shorten the treatment duration.

The disease affects each patient differently. A subset of the population might have heavier and more frequent outbreaks; thus, it is recommended to monitor patients for frequency and judge the costs/benefits of suppressive therapy accordingly.

Another vulnerable group includes patients with concomitant Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections. The risk of disseminated HSV infection in these patients is high enough that suppressive therapy is almost always warranted.

Read More: Genital Herpes Symptoms

Antiviral resistant HSV has become an issue lately. Since the three medications mentioned above are overall similar in structure, resistance to acyclovir usually means resistance to all three of them, in these cases, the medications used are:

  • Foscarnet 40–80 mg/kg IV every 8 hours until clinical resolution is attained
  • Intravenous cidofovir 5 mg/kg once weekly
  • Topical Imiquimod or cidofovir over five days

The future for patients at risk of contracting HSV is clearly bright. There are multiple vaccine candidates currently being researched for prevention, some already in the later phases of clinical development, and showing significant promise.

Read More: Genital Herpes

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes.htm

https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/rtis/genital-HSV-treatment-guidelines/en/

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/treatment-of-genital-herpes-simplex-virus-type-2-in-hiv-infected-patients

https://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/herpes.htm

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X16002978?via%3Dihub