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April 19, 2010 | by  | in Features |
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Sexual health checks available at Victoria University

How convenient is that?

The Student Health Service (SHS) offers all current students free or low-cost sexual health consultations at our clinics on the Kelburn and Pipitea campuses.

Worried about having a check? Don’t be, we will be able to put you at ease about how simple and quick a sexual health check can be.

When to have a sexual health check

Typically people come when they are worried that they have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or they are experiencing unusual symptoms. Other times when it is recommended to have an STI check is at the beginning of a new relationship or after the end of a relationship. Some STIs do not have symptoms, which means that having no symptoms does not necessarily mean that you do not have an infection. For your own peace of mind and for your health and the health of your sexual partner/s it is recommended that you have a check.

Incubation Times

Incubation time refers to the time from when you may have been infected with an STI until you can be tested for its presence. Generally STIs can be divided into two groups: those which we can test for in three weeks and those which need to be tested for in three months. Therefore, if you are seen at the SHS soon after having unprotected sex, e.g. the next day and you have no symptoms, you will probably be advised to return for a check in three weeks. Due to their longer incubation times, sexual health blood tests are recommended three months after potential exposure. Blood tests can check for the presence of infections such as syphilis, hepatitis B and C, and HIV.

What is involved when you have a Sexual Health Check?

Your privacy and dignity are of utmost importance to us. We know how daunting it can be to make that first appointment. You can bring a friend, and you can ask for a chaperone. Consultation with the nurse or doctor starts with history taking. This clinical information helps us to decide which tests we would recommend for you to have.

Before you are examined the procedure will be explained so there will be no surprises. Typically the physical examination involves checking the genital area. For women, swabs will be taken from the vagina and cervix and a urine test may be requested. Men will require a chlamydia urine test and occasionally (not routinely) a swab may be required. To ensure the test is accurate it is recommended that the tests be taken at least two hours after you have last passed urine.

All students can be seen at the SHS. Sexual health checks are generally free for students aged under 25. International students are generally eligible for a free doctor/nurse check, but do need to pay for any lab tests required.

To make an appointment at the Kelburn Campus call 463 5308, and for the Pipitea Campus call 463 7474.

Other options include seeing your Medical Centre, a Family Planning (FP) Clinic or the Sexual Health Service at 275 Cuba Street, Te Aro. The Sexual Health Service is a free service and they also have clinics in Lower Hutt and Porirua, their telephone number is 0800 188 881.

If you have any questions about any aspects of your health, including sexual or reproductive health, please make an appointment at the SHS. You can be confident that you will be provided with skilled and sensitive professional care from our doctors and nurses.

Useful websites
For information regarding STIs:
Auckland Sexual Health Service www.ashs.org.nz

For information about STIs and FP clinic locations:
FP New Zealand www.familyplanning.org.nz

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