STI Screening means you are being tested for a full range of Sexually Transmitted Infections at the same time. A screening usually includes blood tests and swabs.
STI screening is free at an STI/GUM clinic. You will need to make an appointment for most clinics, unless they provide a drop-in service. Click here for contact details of your local clinic.
The service is completely confidential. You don’t have to be referred by or have a letter from your GP.
You should have an STI screening if:
Condoms protect against most but not all STIs. In fact, the only way to stay 100% protected from STIs is to abstain from sex altogether.
Remember that some STIs show no visible symptoms you won’t always know if you need a check-up.
If you are sexually active and you or your partner might be having sex with someone else you should plan to have a check up every 6-12 months.
An STI screening can take around two hours. First, a doctor will take your sexual history. Don’t worry about shocking them – they’ve heard it all before. Then you will have a series of tests.
If you are having a HIV test, a health worker or doctor will talk you with you beforehand.
You may be given some results while you are at the clinic. For tests that take longer you will be given an appointment to come back for the rest of your results. If you need treatment, you will get the medication there and then. This is free of charge. A health worker will meet you to explain safer sex practices, answer any questions you may have and discuss your results.
You will be asked not to urinate for at least four hours before your appointment.You may have a throat swab, penis swab and anal swab.
You may have a throat swab, vaginal swab, a cervical swab and anal swab.