Sexual Health
Clinic

COVID-19 Note

In line with Government guidelines we are happy to announce that we are now making steps to re-open our STI clinic at Charter Medical, albeit at a reduced capacity to ensure safety to all our patients and staff due to COVID-19 restrictions. We thank you in advance for your patience. To maintain a protected environment we ask anyone attending the clinic to wear a face covering. Our Online booking facility is now open for online bookings.

Info

We are now offering late night STI Screening on Monday and Thursday until 6.30pm 

At Charter Medical Sexual Health Clinic we offer friendly, thorough, discreet and reassuring care for all aspects of sexual health. There is a walk-in service available – depending on the demands of the clinic it may not be possible to be seen straight away. If this occurs we will offer you the next available appointment which may be the same day or within 24 hours.

When should you have an STI screen?

  • If you have had unprotected sex, especially with an unknown partner.
  • If you have any unusual symptoms in the genitourinary area.
  • If a recent or present partner has been diagnosed with an STI.
  • If you are about to begin a new sexual relationship

How long does it take?

An STI Screen takes approximately 15-20 minutes. Results take ten working days, you can either opt to receive results via text message or you can arrange a consultation with the nurse/doctor to receive your results. Please note that there is no charge for the text message and there is a €25 charge for the results appointment.

As an addition to a full sexual health screen, we are now able to offer Rapid HIV testing (results in 10 minutes). You can discuss whether this test is appropriate for you during your consultation.

These tests are charged individually, and some may require a swab to be taken.

A routine Sexual Health Screen involves:

A consultation by a doctor or one of our nurse specialists who will take:

  • Urine sample – tested for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea
  • Blood sample – tested for H.I.V, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Syphilis

Please Note:

  • Depending on your symptoms, you may have swabs taken
  • Patients are advised not to pass urine for at least 2 hours before the screen in order to attain the optimal urine sample for testing
  • If you are worried about a particular exposure, and you have NO symptoms, it is advised to leave 2 weeks before you are screened
  • If you are sexually active with different partners, you may be at a higher risk, so we recommend more frequent screening

The law guarantees confidentiality

Your clinical records cannot be shown to anyone without your written permission.

Cost

What does a sexual health screen cost?

  • Full sexual health screen costs €140
  • Full sexual health screen – Student rate €95
  • Full sexual health screen – Medical Card Rate (GMS)/ GP Visit Card €95
  • Full sexual health screen – Military Personnel (with valid ID Card) €95
  • Full sexual health screen – Couple rate €125 per person
  • Cryotherapy session (treatment for genital warts) €70
  • Cryotherapy session (treatment for genital warts) €50 (Student/Medical Card Holder)
  • Cryotherapy review €50

Charges for Rapid Testing

  • Rapid HIV Test €95. **If having this test in conjunction with a routine STI Screen; the additional fee to the STI Screen is €45**

Other fees include

  • Results appointment (if necessary) €35
  • Review appointment €40
  • Following examination, if routine blood tests are required there is an additional fee of €35
  • If specialist blood tests are required, this may incur an additional cost which we can quote you on

Opening Hours

Sexual Health Clinic Opening Hours

8:30 am to 7:00 pm (Monday and Thursday) (Last registration at 6:30 pm)

8:30 am to 5:00 pm (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday) (Last registration at 4:30 pm)

To make an appointment, please contact: (01) 657 9002

HIV Testing

Rapid HIV Testing

Rapid HIV Testing now available – results available in 20 minutes.

Rapid HIV Test – Patient Information

Your Rapid HIV Test

To perform this test the doctor or nurse will need to collect a small amount of blood. The rapid test is a screening test only. As it is not a confirmatory diagnostic test, a blood sample is always sent to the lab to confirm a positive or negative result.

The advantage of a Rapid HIV test or a serum/blood sample (which is part of a standard STI screen) is that your result is available in 20 minutes.

Accuracy of the Test

It is a fourth generation test. It can detect more acute infections compared to 2nd and 3rd generation tests.This means it can detect antigen and antibodies in human blood.

It can be used from two weeks post risk .

What if your Rapid test is positive?

As we encourage full sexual health screening when you attend our clinic, you will be advised to have a routine blood test to exclude other infections. This test screens for Hepatitis B & C and Syphilis. Should your Rapid test display a reactive result, this sample of blood will also be used to confirm the initial diagnosis of the rapid test. It will be sent away to the National Virus Reference Laboratory and the results will take approximately 10 days.

Should the confirmation test also give a positive result you will need to be referred to a specialist in HIV medicine.

Rapid HIV testing is not appropriate for everyone – therefore we will take the time to discuss all the relevant information with you when you attend for consultation.

HPV Vaccine

We currently provide vaccination against the HPV (Human papilloma virus) with the Gardasil vaccine. The HPV vaccine protects against the HPV virus which can cause cancer and genital warts in men and women.The HPV vaccine currently used in Ireland is Gardasil 9. It can prevent against the types of HPV that cause nine out of ten cancers. The Gardasil helps protect against HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58. The vaccine also offers men protection against some anal and oral cancers. It is currently used for women and men aged 9-26 years but may still be discussed with a doctor outside these age ranges. If you would lie this vaccine you will be given an appointment to see the doctor to assess your suitability. If you are going ahead with vaccination, they will administer the first dose on the day. The vaccine is well tolerated, and particularly recommended to those who have had few or no sexual contacts.

It is administered by injection into the muscle of the arm or buttock, given over six months.
It is administered in three separate doses -0, 2 and 6 months.

How much does Gardasil cost?
Gardasil costs:
1st Vaccine €275.00
2nd Vaccine €240.00
3rd Vaccine €240.00

For more information on Gardasil or Gardasil 9:
View More

 

Cervical Smear

HPV cervical screening is a new way of screening. It was introduced in Ireland in March 2020.A cervical screening test checks the health of your cervix. The cervix is the opening to your womb from your vagina. It is not a test for cancer, it is a test to help prevent cancer from developing. During the screening test, a small sample of cells is taken from your cervix by a doctor or nurse. The sample is tested for the human papilloma virus (HPV). If your sample tests positive for HPV, it will be checked for abnormal cells. Finding HPV or abnormal cells early means you can be monitored or treated so they do not turn into cervical cancer.

This test is free of charge for women who are due a test under the national screening programme. You can check your eligibility for a free smear at www.cervicalcheck.ie

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a technique that uses an extremely cold liquid or instrument to freeze a lesion or a growth. Healing occurs after the scab formation and falling of the scab. Cryotherapy poses little risk and is well-tolerated by patients. There is a small risk of discoloration of the skin (may be long term), scarring, infection, and damage to underlying skin, nerve and tissue. The most common effect is slight pain at the time of cryotherapy then followed by redness, swelling and in a small number of cases blistering. These minor symptoms usually last for about 24 to 48 hours. Pigmentary changes, both hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin) and hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) are possible after cryotherapy. Both generally last a few months, but can be long lasting. It may take several treatments to achieve visible results and at time the lesions may return requiring further treatments.

Warts are caused by a virus called the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Warts are diagnosed by clinical examination (sight) rather than a specific test and we do not test for presence of the HPV virus as a huge percentage of the population would test positive even though many people will never develop warts. It may be that you have the virus, but unless you develop warts which are a symptom of the virus it is difficult to know. The virus could have been passed to you from your ex-partner or vice versa.

It is always advisable to have a regular sexual health screen as many STI’s are easily treated but as they display no signs or symptoms, may go undiagnosed and can lead to more complicated problems.

PrEP Clinic

PrEP is now offered as a private service at Charter Medical.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a safe and effective daily pill that can greatly reduce your risk of HIV infection *.
PrEP is for people who do not have HIV, are at high risk of infection and want to take a pill to reduce their risk of HIV infection.
To book your PrEP consultation please call 01 6579002

PrEP to prevent HIV

PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. PrEP is taken by HIV negative people before having sex (pre-exposure) and after sex, to prevent HIV (this is called prophylaxis).
PrEP has been shown in many studies to be safe and highly effective at preventing HIV. Prep has been shown in many studies to be safe and if taken correctly has been found to be highly effective in the prevention of HIV infection.
We would still recommend that condom use is the most effective protection against sexually acquired infections.
PrEP is the newest HIV prevention tool available and is best used in combination with other HIV prevention measures.

You should consider taking PrEP if you:

  • Do not always use condoms during sex
  • Have a partner who has HIV and a detectable or unknown viral load
  • Are trying to conceive with a partner who has HIV
  • Have a partner who has an unknown HIV status or who refuses to get an HIV test
  • Have sex for money, drugs or a place to stay
  • Are using recreational drugs for sex, also known as chemsex
  • Or any activity that may expose you to HIV infection
  • Have used PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) in the past year
  • Had a recent sexually transmitted infection (STI), especially a rectal infection or syphilis

Please see this link for more information on PrEP: https://www.sexualwellbeing.ie

PrEP and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

  • PrEP does not protect against other STIs. For example, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhoea and hepatitis C.
  • PrEP users can combine condoms and PrEP to reduce the risk of contracting other STIs.
  • Regular STI testing at least every 3 months is recommended for people taking PrEP.
  • Vaccination against hepatitis A and B is recommended for all gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) and people who inject drugs.
  • HPV vaccination is recommended for MSM up to and including 45 years of age to protect against genital warts and HPV- associated cancers.

PrEP fees

The fees for this private service at Charter Medical is:

  • Initial Visit @ €200
  • 3 Monthly review visits @ €160
  • Hep A vaccination @ €55
  • Hep B vaccination course @ €240
  • HPV Vaccination course (Gardasil 9 course of 3 vaccinations) @ 1st Vaccine €275.00, 2nd Vaccine €240.00, 3rd Vaccine €240.00
  • Syphilis positive tests will incur consultant specialist fees. Further information on enquiry
(*) All new patients even those who have taken PrEP in the past will need the results of their STI screen and kidney function test prior to getting their prescription.

 

STI – Useful Information

Ireland has seen a big increase in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in recent years

What is an STI?

An STI (formerly called an STD) is an infection that can be passed from one person to another through sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal or oral). What types of STIs are there?

Most common STIs

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. If left untreated, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (P.I.D.) in women which can result in infertility, chronic pelvic pain and ectopic pregnancies. It is known as the ‘silent disease’ as up to 75% of women and 50% of men can have no symptoms at all. Common symptoms include abnormal vaginal discharge, pain on passing urine, pelvic pain, pain during intercourse, irregular vaginal bleeding. Testing can be done on a urine sample or by taking a swab from the cervix and it is easily treatable with antibiotics.

Anogenital Warts

Warts are a very common sexually transmitted infection. They present usually as non- painful lumps anywhere on the genital area and are caused by the HPV virus. This virus can live in the body for many years and people can carry the virus and not know it. Different strains of the virus can cause either external warts or cervical cancer/pre-cancerous cells. Although there is no cure for HPV, there are treatments for external warts including cryotherapy (‘freezing treatment’) which we offer here at Charter Medical.

Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection in the genital area which can cause vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, penile discharge or pain on passing urine. Like Chlamydia, it can have no symptoms at all and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (P.I.D.) which in turn can lead to infertility, chronic pelvic pain and infertility. Testing can be done on a urine sample or by taking a swab. If diagnosed, it is easily cured with antibiotics.

Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is a viral infection which is easily transmitted from person to person. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus which can live around the lips or mouth causing ‘cold-sores’, or in the genital area causing genital herpes. It causes ulcerated, often painful lesions/blisters around the genital area. Diagnosis is made by visual inspection or by taking a swab. There is no cure for genital herpes but out-breaks can be treated with anti-viral medications.

H.I.V. (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)

H.I.V. is a virus that can cause Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (A.I.D.S.). It can be transmitted by sexual intercourse and stays in the body for life, attacking your immune system so that you are unable to fight infections. It is diagnosed by a blood test and requires life-long treatment and monitoring.

Syphilis

Syphilis is transmitted by direct contact with a syphilis sore or lesion and is caused by the bacterium treponema pallidum. Ulcers can be found in the genital area and also in the mouth/around the lips. There are 3 stages of the disease and it develops over years. If treated with antibiotics in the early stage it can be cured. It is diagnosed on a simple blood test but if left untreated, it can spread in the bloodstream and cause many problems in different parts of the body.

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause vaginal discharge in women and discharge from the penis in men. It is often without symptoms but can be passed from person to person during sexual contact. It is easily treatable with antibiotics.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that can be transmitted by sexual intercourse and can cause inflammation of the liver. It can also be transmitted by sharing needles for drug use, from a mother to her baby and from tattoos with unsterilised tools. It usually has no symptoms but can cause serious liver disease. Diagnosis is by a blood test.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is another liver infection which is usually transmitted by sharing/using unsterilised needles for injecting drugs, from mother to baby and also by sexual contact. It can be diagnosed by a blood test and can be treated with a long course of medication. If left untreated it can cause ‘cirrhosis’ of the liver, liver failure and, in some cases, can lead to liver cancer.

Pubic Lice

Pubic lice are tiny insects that live on the hair in the pubic area. They attach strongly to the hair and are not removed by normal washing or brushing. The main symptom is itch and they can be passed on by close genital contact. Treatment is with a specialized cream or lotion.

Others

Some infections in the genital area are not classed as STIs –

  • Thrush
  • Molluscum Contagiosum
  • Scabies

What are the symptoms of an STI?

  • Vaginal/penile discharge
  • Genital lumps
  • Pain on passing urine/other urinary symptoms
  • Genital sores or ulcers
  • Pelvic pain
  • Itching in the pubic/genital area
  • None of the above!! ( STIs can have no symptoms at all but are still contagious)

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