Attending an STI Clinic
The 'how, when and where?' of getting tested
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) can tested for in the Gay Men's Health Service Sexula Helalth clinic on Baggot Street, and in the Guide Clinic in St James Hospital. Attending a hospital for tests can be daunting for anyone, but guidelines suggest that any sexually active person should be fully screened for STI’s every 6 months. Taking responsibility for one’s own sexual health and their partners is the first step in avoiding STI’s, or catching them early when they can be treated more effectively.
In BeLonG To we understand how attending either of these clinics can be a nerve wracking experience. As well as our one to one support service, we offer support around attending clinics, so if a young person needs or wants to attend a youthworker can, with some notice, accompany the young person for the initial visit.
What To Expect when visiting the Guide Clinic in St. James' Hospital
What if I am not sure if I need to attend a STI clinic?
Many people attend clinic when they have symptoms of infection, or if their partner has been diagnosed with an STI. You do not need to have symptoms to attend. Numerous people have infections that they don’t know about. For this reason, it is a good idea to go for a ‘check up’ if you are worried about any possible risks. If in doubt, check it out!
Upon arrival you will be asked to take a ticket and then register. Your name, contact details and date of birth will be recorded. The confidentiality of your information will be respected. You will be given a card with your clinic number (unique to you) on it. There is usually a wait to see the doctor, so you may wish to bring something to read.
The health care provider (a doctor or advanced nurse practitioner) will call you, and take you to an examination room. After discussing the reason for your visit, he or she will ask questions about any symptoms you may be experiencing, as well as assess your risk for infections. These are necessary to determine exactly which tests should be done. Your confidentiality and privacy will be protected.
Examination and Swab Tests
A genital examination is carried out for both men and women. Men should not pass urine for two hours before the examination. Blood is taken to test for HIV, hepatitis and syphilis.
Counselling and health advice. Counsellors and health advisors are available to discuss any concerns or questions about having these tests. In addition, they provide advice and counselling in relation to safer sex. Health advisors will also help if you need to inform your partner about an infection.
Initial results (of the swab tests) are usually available within twenty minutes. The remaining results take up to two weeks.
If the examination or tests indicate an infection, treatment may be started on the same day. All treatments are free of charge.
Health advisors and other staff are available to discuss sexually transmitted infections and safer sex with you. Written literature on STIs is also available in the clinic.
Follow up and Results
Results are available after two weeks (some tests such as smear results take longer). Please notify the clinic if your address or phone number change. If further treatment is required follow up appointments can be booked with reception.
Other STI clinics available at the Guide Clinic
Young Persons Clinic (YPC): Those under 18 are invited to attend this clinic instead of the general STI clinic. Opening times for this Clinic are 10.00am till 1.00pm Thursday only. No appointment needs to be made for this service but it is advisable to get their early as it is first come first served basis.
Nurse Led Clinic: Treatments are carried out in this clinic; a referral to attend is made by a health care worker at the main STI clinic.
What to Expect When Visiting the Gay Mens Health Service in Baggot Street
Your First Visit Details
You will be called by this number to talk to a member of staff and to be registered. The clinic can be very busy, so your first visit could last from 45 to 150 minutes. We try to see everyone before 8.30pm (20.30hr). Other men attending this clinic may have just walked or may have a return appointment.
FIRST VISIT: What happens?
1. Greeting: You will meet a member of staff who will ask you what servicesyou require. You then wait to be called by your number for registration
2. New Registration. The receptionist will call your number. You will be asked for your name; address and especially for a contact telephone number; date of birth; and what Country or County in Ireland you were born. This information is confidential to this clinic only and we use the mobile number to SMS results to you (in one week) and for reminders if missed appointment etc. After registration you will be directed to second waiting area.
NOTE: After registration we call you by your first name and initials of your family name.
3. Assessment. A member of staff will then call you to see a doctor, counsellor or nurse.
4. Reference Card: You will receive a card with your reference number please hold on to it or write the number somewhere.
- We can provide language translation if needed via telephone or in person if contacted 24 hours before you arrive.
- An ISL Interpreter is also available if we are contacted by SMS (text) 24 to 48 hours advance to 087 941 0934.
- Wheelchair Access is available.
Gay Men's Health Service STI Clinic
The Gay Men's Health Service Clinic, Baggot Street Hospital, Dublin 4. (near the No 10 Bus Stop)
Tel: + 353 1 669 9553
SMS: 087 941 0934.
The STI clinical services are for all gay, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men. They are free, friendly and confidential.
TUESDAYS AND WENDESDAYS WALK-IN DOORS OPEN 17.00 TO 19.30
Full STI Screening (swabs) and Blood Tests for HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis, The Hepatitis Vaccine, Genital Warts and Other Treatments, Information, Advice Counselling and Support.
Results Back In One Week: You may have an initial swab result at the clinic but most results (including the HIV test) are back in ONE week.
Doctors provide medical services: screenings, treatment, advice and support. Also referrals if necessary for further treatment or other medical investigations.
Nurses provide blood testing and vaccinations and further advice and support where necessary.
Triage: A nurse chats with clients on arrival to assess what services are needed. The doctors can see up to 12 men each men at the clinic.
A Health Advisor (HA) in sexual health, advises and supports those with an STI infection, and encourages that their recent sexual contact/s attend for screenings.
Counselling is an important aspect of the service, especially in relation to the men who are at risk. All first time clients meet with a counsellor. They provide pre-HIV test counselling, sexual risk assessment and clarification of services. Support and counselling is provided to anyone receiving a HIV positive diagnosis.
An Outreach worker meets and greets clients in the waiting room, provides information on sexual health and other community services, reassures and offers procedural information to newcomers to the Clinic.
GMHS Assistants provide a back up to the medical team and also engage with the clients, taking and giving appointment cards, issuing numbers.