Testing

Testing

At Devon Sexual Health we are ready to provide simple and reliable testing for all your sexual health needs. The testing you need will change from time-to-time and from partner to partner. We can help you find the right tests for your current situation.

What are the right tests for me?

We are here to help provide the right testing for you. We work this out by talking through your medical history, recent sexual partners alongside a few other things.

 

Routine check-up

Routine check-up

People often see us for a “check up” or “screen”. This is a standard set of tests that are offered to people we see without symptoms. This is well established as testing for:

  • Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea – swab samples for this can be taken from the vagina, penis, bottom or throat. Men usually provide a urine sample rather than a penis swab.
  • HIV and syphilis – tested for on a quick blood test. These are routine tests that are offered to everybody as both infections can be caught without causing symptoms.

All our samples are sent away to be tested at our local hospital laboratories.

Tests for symptoms

Tests for symptoms

When people see us with symptoms we sometimes perform other tests looking for other clues and/or infections that we can treat. These include:

However the most common symptom we see in the clinic is discharge. Using a microscope we are able to look at discharge quickly, within minutes, to diagnose a number of common conditions including thrush, bacterial vaginosis and NSU. Only sexual health clinics provide this service.

We also diagnose a lot of conditions just by looking. Our expert staff have seen many sexual health conditions before and know what they’re looking for. This includes symptoms such as rashes, lumps/bumps, crabs, skin damage, or haemorrhoids for example.

Other tests

Other tests

We also commonly see other situations where the following tests can be helpful:

  • Urine pregnancy tests
  • Blood tests for Hepatitis A, B and C
  • Rapid result (point of care) tests for HIV – our current test is the INSTI
  • Cervical smear tests
  • Kidney function tests for people taking PrEP
  • Skin biopsies
  • Blood testing for herpes virus (in pregnancy only)
HIV home testing
Chlamydia testing
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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.

We are currently prioritising these groups for coil and implant (LARC) fits:

  • Those with vulnerabilities including but not limited to those who are: <18, attending abortion and maternity services, homeless, sex workers, victims of sexual assault, people with language barriers, drug and alcohol problems, learning disability, serious mental illness
  • Those aged <30 years

More details on LARC fittings at our service are found here

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.

Information is now also available to advise on sexual contact during a time of social distancing here.

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