You can get tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at special clinics or at GP surgeries. STI clinics are often able to give people the results of their tests within a few days but it may take a little longer from the GP.
Explains why she preferred to be tested by her GP than go to the GUM clinic. (Actor)
Some people don’t go to their GP for a check up because they are concerned about confidentiality (whether their information will be kept private). In particular they worry if their information could be released to insurance companies, financial institutions or potential employers.
Explains that he was a bit worried to go to his GP for a check up because he is worried about…
Some women we talked to had been tested for STIs such as gonorrhoea, syphilis and chlamydia. They described the tests as ‘invasive’ and ’embarrassing’. Having a swab taken was described as uncomfortable and undignified but not painful. Those who’ve been to clinics said that staff were reassuring, ‘easy going’, friendly and approachable. They explained what would happen during the consultation and none of it was scary.
Describes her experience of going for a check up at the local GUM clinic. (Actor)
Sarah decided to go and be tested for STIs in general not just Chlamydia. She was also reassured…
Experiencing symptoms that might mean people have an STI can cause relationship difficulties. It can lead to stress and arguments, and accusations of ‘cheating’.
Describes how the possibility of having a STI placed strain on her relationship.
When test results come back negative (meaning that the person does not have an STI), the symptoms can sometimes be caused by to the contraception being used, or to a non-sexual infection such as thrush. Many of the people we talked to who discovered they had an STI considered themselves ‘lucky’ because they experienced symptoms and had infections that could be diagnosed and treated. Others didn’t have symptoms and were only diagnosed when being treated for something else.
Talks about the symptoms she was experiencing and that in a way she was lucky to have contracted…
Explains that she discovered she had Chlamydia only because she went for a check up for something…
A woman we spoke to was diagnosed with chlamydia when she was six weeks pregnant and was told she would be unlikely to get pregnant again because of damage to her tubes.
Talks about contracting PID and Chlamydia and of being told that her chances of conceiving again…
Most people who’ve had a test are more aware of STIs and said that they planned to have routine check-ups and use condoms with any new partners. A woman we interviewed who had genital herpes explained that it was important to always use a condom, even in long term relationships.
Since having genital herpes she always uses a condom with her long term partner. Played by an actor.
Sometimes the full impact of a diagnosis was only felt years later.
Talks about her initial reaction to being diagnosed with type 2 herpes. Played by an actor.
With the exception of HIV, asymptomatic infections (infections that don’t have any symptoms or signs) such as chlamydia can usually be detected by a test and successfully treated. One teenager described how shocked she was to discover that her boyfriend had infected her with chlamydia, gonorrhoea and genital herpes.