Online sexual health screening could double the number of Londoners getting STI tests

The latest in online screening for sexually transmitted infections is set to double the number of people who are getting tested in the capital, research has shown.

Leading health figures have expressed concerns over changes made to sexual health services across the UK, these have also been accused of putting people at a higher risk of STIs and unwanted pregnancies. This has included a move from face to face consultations to more online services which will allow people to order at home testing kits.

These new efficient services could drastically increase the number of people being tested for syphilis, HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhoea. The experts behind this investigation have warned that these only services shouldn’t be used as a replacement for sexual health clinics in the capital.

Currently in London there’s a large unmet need for testing sexually transmitted infections in London. A trial involved offering patients test kits through tablets in the clinic, they could then pick it up or it would be posted to them. They could then post out the kit to the lab and the patient will receive their results by text messages within 72 hours.

The trial was carried out on more than 2000 people across London and results showed that the testing uptake nearly doubled in groups invited to use internet accessed STI testing compared to those offered existing services at health clinics.

This Sexual Health London Programme, involves 31 councils who have taken control of commissioning sexual health care under the changes in online services, ‘service makes the best use of new technology, recognises the changing way people access information and health care, as well as freeing up face to face clinic appointments for those with greater needs’.

Whilst this is a great step forward when it comes to sexual health, there’s a number of things that can’t be done online, this includes injectable treatments for gonorrhoea and other more sophisticated testing. So it’s still recommended you visit your GP or contact a sexual health clinic when it comes to making an appointment for a sexual health test.

London has the highest rate of sexually transmitted infections across England and not getting tested is starting to put people at risk. The chaos created now means that specialist sexual health staff are finding it hard to treat patients due to difficulty with accessing treatment.

Last September showed that the number of STIs in London had fallen by 5% but warned that the cases of syphilis and chlamydia were on the up. It was also reported that the drop in numbers was due to less people being tested.

 

At Broadgate GP, we provide a full sexual health service, this includes same day testing. Our private GP is professional and discreet and will ensure you receive your results the same day, if not as soon as possible. We can also provide a range of treatment, advice and guidance. To book an appointment today, contact Broadgate GP.

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