ANSWER: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, or STDs, are transmitted through genital fluids from both men and women whether it is oral, vaginal or anal sex, according to Dr Prauk Sethasathien, Diplomate of the Thai Board of Obstetric Gynecology and of the Thai Board of Gynecologic Oncology from Bangkok Hospital.
“The most common STD is HPV which stands for Human Papillomavirus. While HPV can be responsible for causing condyloma and cervical cancer through intercourse, it can also be responsible for causing oropharyngeal cancer during oral sex.
“If you have unprotected sex and feel unsure about your partner, it is better to come in and check for any virus or disease. Here you can check for STDs such as chlamydia, herpes, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, syphilis and HIV.
“HPV virus can cause molluscum contagiosum (a viral skin infection that causes raised, pearl-like papules or nodules on the skin) which can be removed with proper treatment, which will reduce the possibility of spreading.
“There is also a vaccine for this virus. It can help protect you from the virus up to 70-80 per cent.”
He said HPV virus has a 20-30 per cent possibility of causing cervical cancer and the vaccine is pretty useful for it.
“The vaccine is most effective before having sex or between 9 - 26 years old when the body can produce its own antibodies the best. However, the vaccine can be taken any time, even after the patient discovers the molluscum caused by the HPV virus. The vaccine can reduce the percentage of the virus developing into cancer.
“Other common orally transmitted diseases are gonorrhea, genital herpes and syphilis.”
“The best way to avoid all these problems is to use a condom, check your health regularly, and do not hesitate to check for an STD if you are unsure about your partner”.
Government Anonymous Clinic
If you don’t feel like going directly to an obstetrics and gynaecology department in a big hospital, there are some other options:
Anonymous Clinic, Phuket Provincial
Public Health Office
This is a convenient and easy option, especially for those living in Phuket Town. The clinic is at the public health office near the provincial hall.
“We can check for all STDs,” said an officer at the clinic.
“We do not provide a treatment service here as we do not have a doctor, but we offer testing for any local, expat and tourist who wants to check their condition.
“They will be tested by our laboratory agents who are trained at the Venereal Disease Department of Bangrak Hospital in Bangkok.
“The clinic opens from 8.30am-3.30pm Monday to Friday, with a fully equipped lab and fluent-English-speaking staff.
“The patient can choose to remain anonymous, but all records will be kept confidential under regular medical standards.
For further information, please call 076-212-297 ext 103 or 104.
Tourist Clinic, anonymous
clinic for privacy
If you live near Patong, there is a clinic named the “Tourist Clinic” on Taweewong Rd, which includes a full check and a course of treatment, and is open every day including public holidays.
“We can check for any STD such as herpes, chlamydia, hepatitis A, B and C, etc,” said Dr Paweena Faifuenfusiri.
“The patient can request to remain anonymous. There are a lot of patients who require privacy, both Thai and foreign, who come to this clinic.
“Apart from HIV screening, we also provide HIV DNA testing.
“The screening test is quicker and easier and only takes one day to get the results, but it is less detailed.
“The HIV DNA test checks for the HIV virus, even if the patient only contracted it recently. We will test for the virus using a blood sample. The patient can check for the virus five days after intercourse and will get the results within seven days. This way of checking is quite popular because it is 100 per cent accurate.”
The price for checking is approximately B1,000 - 1,500.
For further information please call 076-297-000