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TIME TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR SEXUAL HEALTH SAYS, KENA HEALTH

Kena Health’s Clinical Care Lead, Dr Chido Siame, says that the Gauteng Department of Health’s announcement report that cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have increased significantly is concerning. “Rising STIs are a global concern, and it indicates that the health education and management systems are not working as they should, and also that we all need to take greater care when it comes to this important area of our lives,” she says. 

The Department says that between April and December 2023, 67 400 males were diagnosed with Male Urethritis Syndrome (MUS) at public health facilities across Gauteng—a rise of 3% against 2020. MUS reliably indicates a new STI, with gonorrhoea and chlamydia increasing in South Africa. 

Aside from their own negative health impacts, STIs also feed into the vicious cycle of HIV infection. An individual with an STI is more vulnerable to HIV, and South Africa remains an HIV hotspot. Despite great progress, the country still has around 164,000 new infections annually, burdening the already-overstretched health system. 

“When it comes to STIs, including HIV, the first principle is to be aware of your status. Especially if you are sexually active, regular testing is vital both for your health and the health of your partners,” Dr Siame says. “The next step is to take proper precautions and use a condom at all times. Male and female condoms are available for free at government health facilities—use them!” Dr Siame says that sexually active adults should also work to build honest communication with their partners. 

Effective treatments for STIs are available in the public and private healthcare sectors and when it comes to HIV, testing locations may be found here

However, an important part of the dynamic around STIs is that there remains considerable stigma attached to them, so many people feel hesitant to access help. Dr Siame says that Kena Health’s innovative app makes it easy for users to connect with a medical professional for an affordable, convenient, and private consultation from the comfort of their smartphones. 

Dr Siame says. “Sexual health affects one’s overall health, and Kena Health makes easy, affordable and stigma-free access to healthcare a reality.” 

DID YOU KNOW?

Kena Health is South Africa’s leading medical app. Allowing customers to consult with a doctor, nurse, or mental health professional at the touch of a button. For only R 185 per consultation. Patients can consult through voice, text, or video from wherever they are. The app seeks to lower the cost of quality care to millions of people in South Africa and across the continent. Download the Kena Health app here.

INFO SUPPLIED.

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