Why talk about sexual partners?

Why talk about sexual partners?

A routine visit to the clinic often means we ask a lot of personal questions, including about sexual partners.

This can come as a surprise to some people, especially if it is a first visit. Rest assured, the questions asked are on a need to know basis, and your information is treated with respect adhering to our confidentiality policy.

How does this work in the clinic?

How does this work in the clinic?

Our Health Advisers will give you treatment for the infection and talk with you about sexual partners and the options for notifying them, as part of our role is to reduce the number of undiagnosed STIs in the community.

What is Partner Notification?

What is Partner Notification?

The process of informing a sexual partner is known as Partner Notification. You may choose to tell your partners yourself, or you may ask us to help you. We can notify your sexual partners on your behalf, about the risk of infection. This is called ‘Provider Referral’ and is done confidentially, so we will not mention your name, location, or when the sex took place. Provider Referrals are useful if there was a difficult break up for example.

Notifying partners about an infection can feel daunting, but it also shows care and respect for the other person.  In the majority of cases, sexual partners are grateful to have been informed, it will prompt them to have a check-up, and get treatment if it is indicated.

So we’ll be able to work out where my infection came from?

So we’ll be able to work out where my infection came from?

If you are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection, (STI), it may not be possible to figure out who may have passed it to you, or when. This is because often STI’s have no symptoms, and the person may not have realised they had an infection. Therefore, it is helpful if recent sexual contacts can be informed.  Infections can be harmful if not treated, so it is really important for current partners to be treated, in order to avoid the infection being passed back to you.

How can we help you?

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Accessing our service during the COVID pandemic

How to access our service:

We have now implemented a telephone triage system for all of our clinics. This system will be in place for the duration of the pandemic. Please contact our services to access this triage system. Our central telephone number is 0300 303 3989.

If you are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus please do not attend the clinic. Clear advice for people with symptoms of coronavirus is available at nhs.uk/coronavirus .

Advice from our service:

We have updated information on the provision of routine contraception during this pandemic here.

More details on the fitting of LARCs (coils and implants) at our service can be found here

If you need the combined contraceptive pill please try (if you can) to get updated measurements of your height, weight and blood pressure before calling us.

There is also specific advice on coronavirus available for People Living with HIV here, and for pregnant women here

Self-requested Sexual Health screening by post is available for for under 25s only - more info here

For others with testing requirements please contact the service on 0300 303 3989.

Alternative provision:

Please be aware that we may have to cancel, rearrange or shut clinical services in response to changing clinical and staffing pressures created by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

If you are struggling to access sexual health services, alternatives may be available:

  • Emergency Contraception - at your local pharmacy - more info
  • Contraceptive pills and LARC procedures - obtained from your GP
  • HIV postal testing - available to at-risk groups for a small fee -  more info
  • HIV PEPSE - available via A+E departments - more info
  • Condoms by post (for gay and bisexual men only) - more info