Because of the various negative connotations that pertain to it, sexual health is often a sensitive topic that is limited for discussion to a specific age group. However, a lot of experts would advise that this should not be the case.
What is sexual health?
Sexual health is the overall emotional, psychological, and physical condition of an individual with regards to his or her sexuality. It is, therefore, someone’s concern regardless of age, ethnicity, or religion.
It is also for this reason why sexual health clinics are open to all patients who approach them. These clinics offer a range of services that pertain to sexual health. In most cases, professionals who work in the clinic should not, in any case, ask for your personal information.
However, there are some services where a patient needs to answer specific questions which are necessary so that the doctor can provide you with an accurate diagnosis or solution. In these situations, you can rest assured that the doctor will treat all the details you give them with the utmost confidentiality.
What are the services offered in sexual health clinics?
If you are someone in need of sexual health services, know that clinics offer several options including:
- Information and advice on sexual health
- Free condoms
- Expert opinion on abortion
- Pregnancy test
- Advice on reproductive health
- HIV testing
- Post-exposure prophylaxis – This is the medical term that refers to the intervention done to an individual when he or she believes that he or she has suffered exposure to HIV
- Advice on sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Treatment and testing for STIs
- Birth control pills, including emergency contraceptive pills
- Professional assistance for sexually assaulted individuals
- Referral to other professionals when the case calls for such
Who can avail of these services?
These clinics are open to everyone. If you need services that are or are related to those listed above, you may choose to visit a clinic in a different city if you are not comfortable visiting your local service provider. Note that you may need to set up an appointment first, but there are also clinics which allow on-demand services.
Even if you are not a patient, visiting a sexual health clinic may prove to be fruitful especially if you are enquiring about specific topics to which only a professional can provide you with an answer. Minors who are trying to understand their sexuality but are too anxious to talk to someone they know may utilise the anonymous services offered by these clinics.
Meanwhile, couples who are considering getting married may also avail of the services and get tested for STIs and HIV before settling together. That alleviates the anxiety of being at risk, since even individuals who do not have an active sexual history may have HIV. Furthermore, deliberately hiding the status of your sexual health from your partner may be grounds for a lawsuit.
Finally, for victims of assault, sexual health clinics execute the necessary action to keep patients safe and to address other potential issues that may surface as a result of the tragedy.