People say that money can’t buy happiness; however, when freebies are involved the excitement that follows begs to differ. If something is free, then why should you pay for it? This is the mentality many people have when it comes to STI testing. If you can get tested for sexually transmitted infections at your local genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic, why would you fork out your hard-earned money for an appointment at a private sexual health clinic?

Despite the increase in demand for sexual health clinics, budgets for sexual health services are being cut by a quarter – leaving some clinics with no choice but to turn people away who are exhibiting STI symptoms. Combine this with varying hours of operation at many clinics, as well as limited locations, and you may be left feeling lost, anxious and worried about what you should do next. Private sexual health services can help you address your STI related concerns quickly and discreetly.

Your STI test is completely anonymous

With private testing, you are given total control over your sexual health and complete anonymity. There are no forms to fill out. There will be no endless list of questions regarding your sexual history. You can also avoid the uncomfortable awkwardness of sitting in a GUM clinic waiting room with many other people, all knowing what you are all there for.

You will be asked questions such as whether there is an incident that concerns you. But this is merely for the purpose of helping you select the STI test or screen that meets your needs.

You might not be tested for everything at a GUM clinic

Your GP or healthcare provider may not test you for some STIs. Some tests might also be unavailable to you. For example, a test for cold sores to determine whether the cause is Herpes is not generally offered by GUM clinics.

Private STI testing services provide an extensive range of tests and screens that are designed to give you a full view of your sexual health. You choose which sexually transmitted infections you would like to get tested for. Whilst you do not need to be exhibiting symptoms to get tested, in some cases, symptoms are necessary for a sample to be taken.

It could be weeks until you can get tested

When it comes to a potential issue with your sexual health, the earlier it is detected, the earlier you can start treatment and prevent further health problems from developing. Not only can private sexual health clinics provide same-day or next-day appointments, but some clinics are also open on Saturday and Sunday. So, you can arrange your confidential STI test around your busy schedule and for a time and date that suits you.

GUM clinic results may take between one to two weeks

Sexual health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. World Health Organization

In some cases, you might find that the longer it takes to receive results, the more it affects your mental well-being. Sometimes, results from a GUM clinic can take between one to two weeks to be reported back to you.

If you choose to get tested at a private STI clinic, there are testing options that enable you to receive your results between one to five working days, once your samples have arrived at the laboratory for testing.

There are also rapid testing options at selected private sexual health clinics that report your STI results within ten minutes after your samples have been collected. This will vary depending on your chosen test.

Either way, public or private, getting tested is the one of the most important things you can do to protect your sexual health. Using condoms is the other. If you practice safer sex, and get tested regularly, you will be doing all you can to assure your Sexual Health. Mike Asher, Co-Founder of Better2Know

Sources

[1] ePainAssist: How Long Does It Take To Get Results From an STI Test?

[2] Kids Health: How Do Doctors Test for STDs?

[3] Huffington Post: It’s Time For Government To Get To Grips With The Nation’s Sexual Health

[4] I Wanna Know: Get Tested

[5] NHS: Visiting an STI clinic

[6] NHS: What services do sexual health clinics (GUM clinics) provide?

[7] STDcheck: Free vs. Paid STD Testing: What To Expect

[8] The STD Project: How To Get an STD Test in the UK – STD Testing

[9] The STD Project: What It’s Like to Get STD Testing Done with a Private Provider

[10] The STD Project: What Is It Like To Get Tested For STDs? – STD Testing

[11] Verywell Health: Your Doctor vs. the Free Clinic for STD Testing

[12] World Health Organization: Sexual Health

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