Doha, 5 September, 2021: To mark World Sexual Health Day – which is commemorated globally on 4 September each year - infectious disease experts at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) are urging the community to take steps to learn more about these infections as well as get tested.
Medical Director of the Communicable Disease Center Dr. Muna Al Maslamani said STIs are common and the World Health Organization estimates that more than one million STIs are acquired every day across the world.
“Gonorrhea and syphilis are among the most common types of STIs,” she said. “These are infections that are passed from one person to another through intimate physical contact, mainly sexual intercourse with an infected person, who, in most cases is not aware of his/her infection.
“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.”
You can lower your risk of developing an STI by following some simple steps and safe practice including abstinence or always being safe; avoiding sharing underwear or towels, being vaccinated against Hepatitis B and never sharing syringes or needles.”
Dr. Al Maslamani said another important step to take was getting tested and knowing your status.
“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. People who think they were exposed wanting to get tested can make an appointment at their primary health care center.
“The Communicable Disease Center at HMC operates a confidential STI Helpline where people who have concerns or simply want to know more information can call and speak to a medical professional,” Dr. Al Maslamani said. “The earlier the infection is detected and diagnosed, the better the outcome for treatment.”
The Communicable Disease Center operates a confidential STI helpline from Sunday to Thursday, 7am to 3pm – 4025 4022