Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a global public health issue that affect us all regardless of our gender or sexual orientation. However, the incidence of these infections can vary precisely according to these two factors. As a result, the medical approach to these diseases also differs.

Firstly, regarding gender, it is important to note that women are at higher risk of contracting some STIs due to their own anatomical and physiological characteristics. An illustrative example is the case of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Men are carriers of this infection, but they usually do not develop clinical consequences throughout their lives due to this fact (note that penile cancer is statistically rare). In women, on the other hand, cervical cancer derived from HPV infection is much more common, being the third most common gynecological cancer. Another example illustrating the different incidences and consequences of STIs depending on gender is chlamydia. According to data collected in various studies, the incidence of chlamydia is 50% in women who have sex with men, while in those same men who have sex with women, it is 33%. In men who have sex with men, however, the figure decreases to 11%.

Sexual orientation, like gender, is also a differential factor in the incidence of many STIs, as some of these diseases are more related to certain sexual practices. HIV, for example, presents a 10 times greater risk in receptive anal sex practices than in vaginal sex. This data actually leads to the diagnosis of this infection tending to be later in heterosexual individuals, particularly in women. The causes of this delay in diagnosis are several, but it is important to highlight the stigma still surrounding this infection because it is more prevalent in men who have sex with men (and, for this reason, false assumptions of low/null risk in other groups may arise).

At Open House, whether in our clinics or using our online services, we have the most precise and rapid techniques for detecting these infections. Additionally, our specialist medical team can advise you both before and after obtaining your results and provide you with the appropriate treatment, all in the same visit.

Madrid Clinic Valencia Clinic Online Test

Both human papillomavirus, chlamydia, and HIV are just a few examples of the differences that exist in both the diagnosis and incidence of STIs according to gender or sexual orientation. They also serve to highlight the presence of certain stereotypes or stigmas towards certain practices or roles that are presumed in men and women. Unfortunately, these stigmas and stereotypes also affect clinical practice, which often dismisses certain tests assuming an absence of risk. We then find that the solution must be at the health level, with the universal provision of periodic and comprehensive check-ups, but also at the educational level, with the elimination of stigmas and prejudices surrounding certain sexual practices.

With the intention of eliminating and reducing all these problems, at Open House, we provide unbiased, individualized, and stigma-free treatment to our patients. We conduct tests, inform about real risks and the importance of check-ups, offering (within our possibilities) all facilities to access them, as well as communication channels with the medical team in a quick, effective, and humane manner.

Whoever you are and whatever sex you have, our human-centered and prejudice-free approach guarantees you access to relevant and accurate STI tests and multidisciplinary and specialized medical advice.

Dr. Julieta Domingorena Córdoba

Madrid Clinic Valencia Clinic Online Test

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