Incidence of Disease
Thousands of people around the world test positive for sexually transmitted infections every single day. The good news is that once you know your status, you can get the medical treatment you need to prevent / minimise any long-term health complications.
If you test positive, you may wish to receive your treatment through Better2Know. We can arrange a consultation for you. You may instead decide to take your results to your own doctor or sexual health specialist.
It is important for you to receive treatment even if you have no symptoms, as you may still be able to pass the STI on to any sexual partners, and many STIs can cause long term health conditions if not correctly treated. In order to best protect your health and treat the infection, it is important to speak to a doctor and be prescribed the right medication for you.
You should also contact all your recent or ex-partners to tell them what infection you have tested positive for. This is the responsible thing to do, and could also serve to protect their health and fertility. After all, it is always Better2Know.
Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, Ureaplasma, Mycoplasma, Gardnerella and Trichomonas
If you test positive for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, Ureaplasma, Mycoplasma, Gardnerella and / or Trichomonas, these infections are usually treated with antibiotics. They can be completely cleared with a short course of the appropriate medication. Your choice of doctor will be able to prescribe the most appropriate antibiotics for your condition and you may wish to take another test at the end of your course to check that the STI has completely cleared.
With early identification and appropriate treatment, HIV is no longer the life-threatening virus it once was. With HIV, regular testing and early treatment is extremely important. Many people do not start taking medication straight away, but you should take care to monitor the effects of the virus. Better2Know can detect HIV from as early as ten days after any exposure.
You can choose whether to continue your treatment through Better2Know or via your own doctor.
There are also apps and websites that can now help you manage and monitor your condition, so that you can take control of the virus and maintain your health and lifestyle.
There are two types of the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), and your Better2Know test will tell you which, if any, you have. HSV I is the strain that commonly causes “cold sores”, or sores around the lips or mouth. The HSV II strain is the viral type that typically causes Genital Herpes. There is currently no medication available to eliminate the virus from the body.
However, there are many treatments which have proven very effective in reducing both the severity and frequency of any outbreaks. The good news is that these outbreaks can be managed. There are creams and medications available to keep the outbreaks under control, with reduced symptoms. You are most likely to pass the virus on when you have symptoms, so you should abstain or practice safe sex with a condom during this time. If you test positive for Herpes, your Better2Know doctor, or your own practitioner, will be able to prescribe the right treatment for you.
If you test positive for Hepatitis B, your Better2Know doctor will advise you to see a specialist. They will carry out further tests to see the effect the virus is having on your body, and the best treatment options for you. Most people who test positive find that their immune system will fight off the virus on its own, but careful monitoring of the infection is always necessary.
A specialist will be able to provide the right treatment if the disease is more advanced. This is an antiviral medication which will be prescribed, and you may need to take it for up to six months. During this time, you will receive regular support and monitoring. This should clear the virus from your body and you can then continue to lead your normal life.
Regardless of whether the infection is producing symptoms or not, you are advised to avoid alcohol, get plenty of rest and maintain a healthy diet.
If you test positive for Hepatitis C, your Better2Know doctor will advise you to see a specialist. They will carry out further tests to assess the effect Hepatitis C is having on your body. They will also discuss treatment options with you. You can decide whether to continue this review with a Better2Know doctor, or through your own doctor. Careful monitoring of the infection is always necessary.
Treatment may include antiviral drugs to help your body combat the effects of the virus. You will be advised to have regular check-ups to monitor your reaction to the drugs.
HPV/ Genital Warts/ Cervical Cancer
Sexually transmitted HPVs fall into two categories:
- Low-risk types, which do not cause cancer but can cause skin warts on or around the genitals or anus. For example, HPV types 6 and 11 cause 90% of genital warts.
- High-risk types, which can cause cancer. At least a dozen high-risk HPV types have been identified. Two of these, HPV types 16 and 18, are responsible for the majority of HPV-caused cancers.
Just because you test positive for a Human Papilloma Virus, even if it is a high-risk type, it does not mean that you will go on to develop cervical cancer. If you have HPV, you will be referred to a specialist (available through your Better2Know centre) who will be able to recommend follow up tests and advise you on the most appropriate treatment for your type of HPV.
If you have a confirmed genital wart, it can be removed - usually through a process called cryotherapy, which involves the freezing of infected cells. There are also creams that can be prescribed to help remove warts, reduce their symptoms and even prevent their reoccurrence.