Most STIs can be easily and effectively treated and cured. The sooner you get treatment the less chance of complications. Free testing is available at STI/GUM clinics. Your personal information is kept confidential at the clinic and can be accessed only by the clinic staff.
After you register at the clinic a doctor or health care worker will talk to you about your risk of infection and any symptoms you may have. The doctor will then arrange any necessary tests.
Swabs will be taken from the penis, anus and mouth to test for bacterial infections such as gonorrhoea and NSU.
A blood sample will be taken from your arm to test for syphilis and hepatitis.
You will be asked to provide a urine sample to test for chlamydia as well as an anal and throat swab.
Swabs can also be taking from sores, if there are any, to check for herpes, syphilis or LGV.
Most clinics offer an HIV test as part of their routine screening. We recommend you speak to a counsellor beforehand. If you do not wish to take the HIV test, you should make this clear to the doctor.
If you test positive for syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, NSU or LGV you will be given a course of antibiotics. Creams and other treatment are available for herpes, balanitis or warts. If you test positive for hepatitis or HIV you will be referred to a medical consultant for follow up care.
A Health Advisor or Doctor will also encourage you to inform any current or recent sexual partners of your infection, so they may get tested and treated if necessary. Remember they could have an infection without knowing it. If you have been diagnosed with an STI it is advisable to abstain from sex until the infection has cleared. For certain infections and treatments the doctor will arrange a follow-up visit to determine if it has cleared completely.
See the Testing and Support section of this website for a list of free STI testing services available.