Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
A check-up for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be done online, but you can contact us if you have noticed something wrong or are worried.
All STIs are treatable, and treatment is available in our clinics.
Our sexual health services are still here for you, but we have had to change the way we do things because of coronavirus
Phone lines are open from 9.00am-3.00pm
A receptionist will take your details, and add you to the queue for a telephone consultation
A doctor or nurse will call you back as soon as possible
We might advise you to order an STI testing kit online
We might advise you to attend one of our clinics to see us, or to collect medication
To help us maintain safe distancing, please attend on your own. You will be asked to clean your hands, check your temperature, and put on a face mask before entering.
Please do not attend the clinic if you or anyone you live with has a high temperature, new persistent cough, or a change in your sense of smell/taste – or if you have been advised to self-isolate by NHS Track and Trace. If you are unwell call NHS 111.
A&E services are under extreme pressure at the moment. Please keep A&E for emergencies only.
If you have not noticed anything wrong
People can have sexually transmitted infections (STIs) without noticing anything wrong. Therefore, a sexual health 'MOT' is recommeded if you have a change in sexual partner, or are having sex with more than one person.
A routine check-up includes:
- A blood test (for HIV and syphilis)
- A urine test and/or swabs (for chlamydia and gonorrhoea)
If nothing is bothering you, but you would like a check-up for STIs, then London's online service is right for you:
Visit www.shl.uk to register
If you have noticed something wrong
If something is bothering you, a trained doctor or nurse will see you to assess your symptoms.
A healthcare assistant may do your routine tests while you wait.
This helps to speed up your consultation with the doctor or nurse and will not add to your waiting time.
Routine tests include:
- A blood test (for HIV and syphilis)
- A urine sample and/or swab (for chlamydia and gonorrhoea)
If you would prefer to see a doctor or nurse of the same gender as you, then please ask at reception. You may have to wait a bit longer. Occasionally this may not be possible.
The doctor or nurse will need to ask questions about what is wrong. This might include questions about your recent sexual partners, and your health in general. Some of the questions are very personal. We therefore use professional interpreters if necessary and not family members or friends.
The doctor or nurse may need to examine you and take extra tests. They will explain anything they need to do. If you do not understand anything during the discussion or examination, please ask.
You can have a chaperone to support you and make you feel comfortable during an examination.
HIV testing is a standard part of a sexual health check-up
It is always better to know your HIV status
HIV is a treatable infection - effective treatment keeps people living with HIV well, and means that HIV cannot be passed on to their sexual partners too. HIV treatment is so good, that there is now no difference in life expectancy between people living with HIV and people who are HIV negative.
We test for HIV using a blood test
Many people believe they have been tested for HIV because they have had blood tests for other things. However, unless you were specifically told that a HIV test was included then it is likely this was not tested. In any case, there is no harm in repeating the test with your check-up.
The HIV blood test has a 'window period' of 45 days
This means if someone acquired HIV less than 45 days before the test, it might not be detected even though they have HIV infection.
If you are having a check-up and have not tested for HIV recently, it is still worth having the test even if you are in the 'window period' - but we may advise you to repeat the test after the 'window period' to be sure.
HIV testing is a standard part of a sexual health check up
- HIV testing is quick and easy
- Many people with HIV have not noticed anything wrong
- HIV is a treatable illness
- Knowing your status can put your mind at ease