Sexually Transmitted Infections clinic? What for?
“Sexually Transmitted Infections”…. the words themselves create an uncomfortable and even frightening feeling in most people, especially if you read that “More than half of all people will have an STI at some point in their lifetime”!
What if you read this other fact: “One in two sexually active persons will contract an STD/STI by age 25”?
The word “STI” should not scare us; it should get us to think about what could be at stake. Doing a routine VCT is great but not enough! These rapid tests deal with only 4 pathogens: HIV, Hepatitis B and C and syphilis. What about gonorrhea? Chlamydia? Warts? And others?
In 2021, SIDC will turn 34. But year 2015 had a special event: the opening of an “STI clinic”.
In April 2015, after taking fruitful advice from the National AIDS Program, SIDC team was very excited to receive the first patient in the newly established STI clinic. Nine months later (January 2016), the clinic has counted (more than 300 patients).
An STI clinic? What for?
Since you get your teeth, your eyes, your general health system checked regularly, there isn’t always something wrong when you go to an STI clinic just to make sure everything’s okay. Remember that sexual health is part of your overall health and it’s just one other area that you should check up on regularly.
The STI clinic at SIDC aims to welcome all patients. Expect short wait times if you book an appointment and check our pamphlets to read while you wait. Do not forget your free condoms to take with you.
In a private room, you will meet our VCT officer, Patrick, or Berna, a very friendly registered nurse, who will go over a consent for services and collection of information form with you; ask the reason for your clinic visit; and ask questions about your medical and sexual history. Your answers will help to determine the type of services that are most suitable for you. Depending on your agreed upon plan, she may decide to do testing, provide counseling, make referrals and/or give you pamphlets to read and take home. After consulting with her you may need to see the doctor for further assessment, testing, a prescription or a referral. If you have any question, please ask the nurse or the doctor during your visit and they will make sure you understand everything before you leave. All your information is kept private and confidential.
Being one of those “half of all people” who will have an sexually transmitted infection at some point in your lifetime is an experience for you. For SIDC, it is a continuity of all HIV/STI services offered.
Being old is quality… SIDC is still growing!