Health News

STIs: A doctor’s warning – few online tests meet official standards

STIs: NHS gives advice on symptoms and prevention

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

However, Dr Emma Harding has warned some of these tests do not meet official standards and, as a result, could be putting the lives of patients at risk.

Dr Harding said: “People are spending a lot of money for poor quality.”

As a result, there are growing calls for tighter controls in this market to ensure only high-quality tests are made available.

During the pandemic the ordering of online STI tests has become more popular.

Research from the London School of Hygiene, published in the BMJ’s Sexual Transmitted Infections journal, looked at over 30 STI test providers.

Of these 30 test providers, 26 required monetary payment while the results were freely available on the NHS.

Dr Harding said: “Many of the providers – especially those that were for profit – didn’t comply with the national guidelines.”

One of the reasons raised for turning to private test providers was anonymity.

Dr Harding explained: “Through anecdotal feedback, I think some patients are concerned NHS providers will require you to use your real name and your data will be shared with your GP – and that’s not the case.”

NHS providers provide anonymous and confidential services.

Having an STI can be a difficult and embarrassing time for someone.

Although this research reflects negatively on online testing, the researchers believe it is a “great move in the right direction”.

As a result, they say they are “asking for regulatory change to ensure that all online providers are complying with national guidelines and are held to account if they don’t”.

STIs can cause several serious complications if left untreated including infertility.

Examples of STIs include:
• Chlamydia
• Gonorrhoea
• Trichomoniasis
• Genital warts
• Genital herpes
• Pubic lice
• Scabies
• Syphilis
• HPV.

If you have any concerns regarding STIs or sexual health the NHS has a number of walk-in centres where confidential conversations can be had, and any questions answered.

Source: Read Full Article