Getting tested may seem scary, but it’s always better to know what is happening with your sexual health so that you can deal with any problems as soon as possible.
A full sexual health screen checks that your ‘sexual body’ is clear of infections and functioning the way it should be. The test will start with a confidential consultation, where a trained and supportive sexual health professional will talk to you about what you have done in the past, what you are likely to do in the future, and whether you have any immediate concerns or questions.
To make sure people to feel as comfortable as possible, most sexual health clinics can provide a choice of male or female doctors for consultations. Some services also hold separate sessions for men, women, young people, gay men and lesbians.
Regardless of age, ethnic group, or sexual orientation, everyone is entitled to confidential information and advice. The only time a doctor or other health professional would have to disclose any information to anyone else is where they are concerned about their patient’s safety or the safety of anyone else. No-one should ever be judged because of their sexual behaviour or practices, and staff should always treat people in a respectful and non-judgemental way.
You will then have a visual inspection, where a sexual health nurse or doctor will look at your sexual bits to make sure there are no obvious rashes, warts, sores, or other problems. Women will then have a few painless swabs taken from the inside walls of their vagina and from the head of their cervix, and men will have to pee in a pot and have a small, painless swab taken from the head of their penis. In some cases, anal swabs may be done. Blood may be taken from both men and women to test for HIV.
The whole procedure is painless, and is done in a supportive, welcoming, open environment. You can ask any questions that you have, and you will know that anything you say or do will remain completely confidential.
The Claude Nicol Centre is the best place to go for a full sexual health screening in Brighton & Hove. During your appointment or drop-in session there, you will be tested for a variety of STIs in a safe and supportive environment. The Brighton Station Health Centre also runs a drop in sexual health clinic, and you can ask at your GP Surgery whether they can conduct full testing as well.
Many schools, clubs, sports organisations, outreach centres, youth clubs, colleges, GP practices, pharmacies, and midwives also offer free ‘do it yourself’ Chlamydia & Gonorrhoea testing. For more information please call 01273 690985.
The video below shows what happens in a male STI check up
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