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March 17, 2008 | by  | in Opinion |
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Student Health Service

Sexual Health Checks

We know that you have a lot of reading to do so this year we are keeping the health articles short and to the point. This week’s topic is Sexual Health in around 300 words. Why have a sexual health check?

Because if you have been sexually active you may have been at risk of contracting a Sexually Transmissible Infection (STI). Many STIs have no symptoms but they can all be treated, and most cured. If an STI is left untreated you may experience complications, including infertility. A sexual health test will protect the health of you and your partner/s. Another way to reduce your risk of developing an STI is to remember that you cannot tell if a person has a STI by just looking at them; use condoms or dams and do not share sex toys.

For some students the thought of having an STI check is enough to send their stress level soaring. Be reassured, the nurses and doctors at the Student Health Service (SHS) are experienced with providing sexual health care. They will explain what an STI check involves and can answer any questions you may have. A check includes one or a combination of the following depending upon your history and what you want to be tested for: urine screen, swabs and a blood test.

STI checks are available at: Student Health Service, Victoria University, 463 5308.

The majority of students are eligible for free sexual health consultations. For others, including international students, the consultation fee will range from $5 to $25. International students who have a Studentsafe policy can claim one sexual health consultation per insurance year and up to $100 towards the cost of any laboratory tests ordered.

Your own medical centre:
Family Planning have clinics in Wellington, Porirua and Lower Hutt, free for New Zealand residents under 22
Sexual Health Service 0800 188 881 free clinics in Newtown, Porirua and Lower Hutt.

Routine sexual health checks are recommended 2-3 weeks after unprotected sex and after you have had change in sexual partner.

Other related care available at the Student Health Service includes:

-prescriptions for condoms which will cost $3 at a pharmacy
-the emergency contraceptive pill
-prescriptions for the oral contraceptive pill
-other methods of contraception including Depo Provera injections and the Intra Uterine Device (IUD)
-pregnancy tests
-cervical screening tests
-appointments to discuss issues related to sexuality and sexual identity

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