Diagnosis

The use of a condom is essential to protect yourself and your partners against STDs. If you have any concerns, you should have a screening test. In the event of an infection, follow the treatment correctly and inform your sexual partner/partners.

The importance of the screening test

Most Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are asymptomatic (without symptoms) and can go unnoticed.

DIAGNOSIS: Someone who does not know that they are infected is likely to contaminate other people.

The earlier STDs are detected, the better they can be treated.

If you have an STD:

  • inform your partner/partners
  • follow the treatment
  • your partners should also follow the treatment!

If left untreated, some STDs can have serious consequences for your health: infertility (Chlamydia), cervical cancer (HPV), etc.

DID YOU KNOW? Screening tests for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B virus (HBV) are recommended for pregnant women in Belgium (Belgian Healthcare Knowledge Centre (KCE) 2015). It is also possible to screen for Chlamydia and gonorrhea. In the event of an STD, pregnant women can be prescribed antibiotic treatment.

When should you have a screening test?

  • If symptoms appear after sexual relations without a condom
  • After sexual relations without a condom with someone who has symptoms of an STD
  • If you are in a stable relationship and you no longer want to use a condom
  • When planning a pregnancy or during pregnancy

Where can you have a screening test?

The screening test can be done:

  • by your GP
  • by a urologist
  • by a gynaecologist
  • at an STD screening centre (G.U.M clinic)
  • at a family planning clinic
  • at an AIDS referral centre.

Screening test for HIV and STDs

The simultaneous screening test for HIV and STDs is recommended for men who have sex with men (MSM).

More than half of the MSM that are diagnosed with an STD test positive for HIV. HIV is also an STD and is transmitted in the same way.

The co-infections most frequently observed with HIV are syphilis and gonorrhea.

DID YOU KNOW? Screening for Chlamydia is recommended for young people aged between 15 and 29 years old. Screening for HPV is recommended for women over 25 and up to 64 years old.

Sciensano compiles two reports each year documenting the evolution of STIs in Belgium. The reports are based on information provided by data-collection networks.

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