People often wonder who are the “type of people” that go to an STI clinic. Often in Ireland people are not great about talking about sex in general and much less so STI’s. So with ignorance comes stereotypes and misconceptions as to who attends “those sort of places”. If we were in the UK we probably wouldn’t have to answer that sort of question as GUM clinics are common place and sexual health has been normalised as routine as a trip to the dentist. Most people have teeth so they go to the dentist the same doesn’t necessarily apply to most people having sex and STI clinics. Unfortunately we are still in the situation whereby most people get tested due to a perceived risk or because they have symptoms. In many western countries it is a yearly checkup for people regardless of risks or symptoms. We still hope for the day Ireland shakes off the stigma of sex and embraces this part of their routine health.
So who comes to Himerus Health?
Everyone and anyone, all age ranges, male and female with a myriad of problems or concerns.
This week was similar to others and give a snap shot of what sort of worries we encounter may help some people realise they aren’t unique in their worries I have listed a few of the many cases:
1) The 20 year old Irish girl that recently broke up with her boyfriend and was concerned he had been cheating on her.
2) The upset married man just back from his Portugal golfing trip where things got carried away and he had sex with a sex worker and is now deeply regretful. Wants to ensure he doesn’t give anything to his wife.
3) The 25 year old girl who is due her first free smear
4) The young gay guy who hasn’t yet came out to anyone but was having risky encounters through Grinder.
5) The 35 year old guy with a ‘spot’ on his penis, had waited months before building up the courage to come to get it see to, went home very relieved.
6) The newly separated 45 year old lady who had some discomfort having sex with a new partner.
7) The Brazilian flight attendant who was just getting his routine STI screen as he does once a year.
8) The Californian couple who moved here to work in the tech industry. They wanted to check their sexual health before stopping using condoms.
9) The couple in their 30’s about to embark on fertility treatment but wanted to ensure an old STI wasn’t the cause of their problems.
10) The guy that googled his symptoms and convinced himself he had HIV so came in for the rapid HIV test….it was negative.
11) The girl who was diagnosed with gonorrhoea and wanted treatment.
12) The older lady with a chronic uncomfortable rash on her vulva that was lichen sclerosis and not thrush as she’d thought for years.
13) The guy with the warts that wanted cryotherapy treatment.
14) The guy who’d had a threesome with two sex workers and was now worried he’d caught something.
15) The girl with the painful genital ulcers that were “destroying her life”.
This is just a snap shot into the life of an STI clinic. We don’t judge anyone, sex is a normal part of humanity. Our goal is primarily to look after the health and well being of everyone who attends us. The large majority of people are so thankful they came and leave with a big weight lifted off their shoulders. Testing is so quick and simple these days and not at all painful. Results are back in less than a week and in the majority of cases it’s good news. So don’t just think about it do it, you won’t be the craziest story we’ve heard.