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New initiatives make sexual health testing more accessible

New initiatives make sexual health testing more accessible

21 March 2014

New initiatives at MidCentral Health’s Sexual Health Service are making testing easier and more accessible for clients.

Changes in the way testing is conducted for gonorrhoea and Chlamydia mean that males no longer need a urethral swab; instead a urine sample can now be used. Previously females were required to have a cervical swab to test for gonorrhoea, but a vaginal swab will now suffice. These alterations mean that sexual health testing is now far less invasive, making it easier and more accessible. The service continues to offer tests for HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis.

This new technology has meant that two new clinics are available for clients wishing to get a check up. Express clinics are being made available for those who have no symptoms but are after a ‘peace of mind’ check-up, or those who struggle to find time to get to the clinic.

Nurse-led walk-in clinics are held on Mondays and Fridays between 9am and noon. These are provided both for convenience, and for people who have symptoms and need to be seen urgently.

Sexual Health Clinical Nurse Specialist Kate Allen said: “These new initiatives are great news for our clients. Sexual health is an important issue, so anything that makes it easier for people to visit us and get checked is a great thing. The fact that the tests are now less invasive makes it more comfortable for clients wishing to get tested.”

MidCentral Health provides the service free for all age groups. The service is located in the Community Health Village on the Palmerston North Hospital grounds. Outreach clinics are also held in Levin on Monday mornings, and in Dannevirke every second Tuesday morning. For more information on the service and their clinics call 0800 808 602. Those wanting to get a check up can refer themselves, or get a referral from another health provider.

ENDS

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