Getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) has always been a very awkward time for patients especially men who have to undress from the waist down. They then have to wait for the clinicians to take a rectal swab which is quite uncomfortable.
This does not have to be the case anymore for men in Singapore thanks to a research team based at the Department of Sexually Transmitted Infections Control (DSC) Clinic. The team of scientists have come up with a new way of preserving the privacy of patients undergoing STD testing.
In addition, the new swabs are smaller and cause less discomfort than those that were being used before. The men are expected to seal the swabs in containers that will then be sent to the lab for testing.
Targeting Men Having Sex with Men
This new method of STD testing is especially meant to encourage more men having sex with men (MSMs) in Singapore to get tested even if they are not showing any symptoms to increase the chances of better diagnosis and early treatment.
According to recent figures collected by the DSC clinic, the number of STD rates in Singapore have been increasing in the last two years because people are refusing to use condoms during sex, and in some cases, the availability of the HIV prevention drug, HIV PrEP, has emboldened many to have sex without condoms, thus exposing themselves to a host of other STDs.
Medical professionals are supporting the new testing method saying that men have been feeling very uncomfortable while getting tested and would often be shy to expose themselves even to medical professionals, even at non-government-linked private STD clinics in Singapore.
The new testing method is bound to reduce the discomfort and eliminate the shyness allowing more men to get tested while preserving their privacy.
This new STD testing method is already receiving lots of support from all corners and was recently awarded a bronze award by the National Healthcare Group during the Singapore Health and Biomedical Congress.
Rare Skin Condition to be Diagnosed on the Spot
The congress also highlighted another profound project that will see Miliaria profunda, a rare skin condition, diagnosed on the spot by use of advanced 3D-imaging technology.
The skin condition prevents people from sweating putting them at risk of overheating. The skin disorder has traditionally been diagnosed by doing a skin biopsy (a small skin tissue) that is then sent for testing.
According to consultants at the National Skin Centre (NSC), this kind of testing tends to be tricky because the skin tissue has to be processed using chemicals that can easily dry it up. If the tissue dries up then some skin details are lost in the process.
The new and advanced technology will allow doctors to take a look at a person’s sweat glands and see what’s happening in real time.
The machine is non-invasive and will save patients from undergoing through pain caused by a biopsy. It will also save them time as diagnosis can be done in one visit without having to wait for test results for days. With the previou method, patients would have to visit a doctor three times.
The groundbreaking 3D-imaging machine is also being used to study skin cancer as well as other conditions.
Get Tested At Shim Clinic
Shim Clinic is a private and confidential general practice clinic in Singapore focusing on men’s sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases. Our wealth of experience with a focus on your comfort and privacy makes us a great choice if you would like to get tested. Also, if you suspect that you have been exposed to the HIV virus within the past 48 hours, please come to us to get prescribed with HIV PEP.