What are sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
STIs are infections that are passed from one person to another through intimate physical contact, including sexual intercourse. STIs are very common and the World Health Organization estimates that more than one million STIs are acquired every day across the world.
Types of STIs
- Gonorrhea and syphilis are among the most common types of STIs in Qatar.
- Less common, HIV/AIDS is also a type of STIs.
How are STIs contracted?
- STIs are passed from one person to another through intimate physical contact, including sexual intercourse.
- Certain STIs can be spread through non-sexual means such as via blood.
- Many STIs including chlamydia, gonorrhea, primarily hepatitis B, HIV, and syphilis can also be transmitted from a mother to her child during pregnancy and childbirth.
What are the common symptoms of STIs?
- Unusual discharge from the genitals
- Discomfort when urinating
- Genital itching and/or rash
- Lumps or skin growths around the genitals or anus
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Blisters or sores around the genitals
It is important to understand that not all STIs cause symptoms, so it is possible to have an infection and not be aware of it. For this reason it is recommended that people get regularly tested, even if they show no clear signs or symptoms.
How to prevent STIs?
You can lower your risk of developing an STI by following these simple tips:
- Using condoms when having sexual intercourse
- Avoiding sharing towels or underwear
- Being vaccinated for hepatitis B
- Never sharing syringes or needles
Where to get tested for STIs?
- If you or your spouse show any signs and symptoms of STIs, or if you believe you may be at risk of STIs, your primary health center can perform a set of routine tests to determine whether or not you have any STIs.
- To make an appointment at your primary health center, call Primary Health Care Corporation’s customer service team, Hayyak, on 107.
- There are a wide range of treatment options available to manage and cure STIs. If you are diagnosed with an STI, your primary health doctor will explain the appropriate treatment plan for your condition.
Confidential telephone helpline
- Hamad Medical Corporation’s Communicable Disease Center (CDC) operates a confidential STI helpline from Sunday to Thursday, 7am to 3pm.
- If you believe you may have an STI, or simply need more information on STIs, you can call 4025 4025 to talk to one of the CDC’s clinicians.
- You do not have to give your name or identify yourself in any way.