1 in 2 sexually active young people will get an STI by the age of 25. Many young people do not know they are infected because STI often have no symptoms.
In recent years, Ireland has seen a big increase in sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Some STIs can cause serious health problems if left untreated. You can enjoy your sex life and stay healthy by regularly getting tested.
It’s important to have an STI Screen, especially
- If you have had unprotected sex, particularly 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.
STI Screening in Dublin
Charter Medical in Smithfield, Dublin is now offering late night STI Screening (Monday & Thursday until 6.30pm).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.
At Charter Medical Sexual Health Clinic we offer friendly, thorough, discreet and reassuring care for all aspects of sexual health.
How long does it take?
An STI Screen takes approximately 15-20 minutes. 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
Results take ten working days. The law guarantees confidentiality. Your clinical records cannot be shown to anyone without your written permission. You can either opt to receive results via text message or you can arrange a consultation with the nurse/doctor to receive your results. 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.
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
STI 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
- If having HIV Rapid Test in conjunction with a routine STI Screen; the additional fee to the STI Screen is €45**
- 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
8:30am to 7:00pm Monday and Thursday (Last registration at 6:30pm)
8:30am to 5:00pmTuesday, Wednesday and Friday (Last registration at 4:30pm)
We are now offering late night STI Screening on Monday and Thursday until 6.30pm. 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.
To make an appointment, please contact: (01) 657 9002 or to book your appointment online CLICK HERE
Rapid HIV Testing
Rapid HIV Testing now available – results available in 20 minutes.
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.
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.
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.
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). The most common types of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are:
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
Some infections in the genital area are not classed as STIs –
- Molluscum Contagiosum
Symptoms of an STI
Many People with STIs do not experience any signs or symptoms (asymptomatic). It is worth getting tested even if you feel fine. Signs and symptoms that might indicate an STI include:
- 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)