Sexual Health

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Testing

Sexual Health Services in Dumfries and Galloway

Sexual health clinics in D&G are provided by NHS D&G and D&G Sexual Health. You can find out more information on their website. (You can order postal testing kits for chlamydia and gonorrhoea here.)

General Enquiries

  • Telephone 0345 702 3687 (Mon – Fri 9.00am-4.00pm)
  • Helpline 07736 955 219 (Mon – Fri 1.00pm-2.00pm)
  • Fax 01387 244593
  • Email –dgsexualhealth@nhs.net

Clinics

Annan

  • Greencroft Medical Centre, North (Bank Street Entrance)
  • Appointments for STI testing and treatment and contraception available 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month from 6-8pm
  • Drop-in for chlamydia P-Test available 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month from 6-8pm

Dumfries

  • Laurelbank, Craig’s Rd. Nithbank
  • Contraception, STI testing & treatment available Monday – Friday from 9-11am
  • STI testing & treatment available on Mondays from 4.30-6pm
  • Appointments are available at other times for a range of services including intrauterine methods, contraception implants, psycho-sexual counselling

Stranraer

  • Out Patients Department, Galloway Community Hospital, Dalrymple Street
  • Appointments for contraception, STI testing & treatment available every Wednesday
  • Drop-in for contraception, STI testing & treatment available Mondays 5-6.30pm. Appointments are available for Wednesday as well.

Please download the leaflet below about vaccination for hepatitis A&B for men who have sex with men in Dumfries and Galloway:

 

Terrance Higgins Trust

HIV & AIDS

Although they are often mixed up HIV and AIDS have different meanings. ‘HIV’ is the name of a virus, whereas ‘AIDS’ is a name for a collection of illnesses caused by this virus.

HIV – Human Immunodeficiency Virus. 

HIV weakens a person’s immune system, the part of the body that fights off diseases. Some people notice no symptoms when they’re first infected with HIV. But within six weeks of infection most people suffer a short illness (lasting around two weeks) as their body reacts to the virus. This can involve a body rash, sore throat or fever. Once this passes an infected person usually feels fine for a number of years. However, unless they start treatment before the virus causes too much damage, as years go by they will usually start to suffer life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and pneumonia. This is because HIV is destroying cells that our immune system needs.

HIV has been in humans for many decades but was only identified in the early 1980s.

AIDS – Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

AIDS is a collection of illnesses caused by a virus people pick up that makes their immune system get weak. You cannot get an AIDS diagnosis unless you are already HIV positive.

In the 1980s and early 1990s HIV treatment wasn’t good at fighting the virus and most people with it were eventually diagnosed with AIDS, but now anti-HIV drugs can control (but not completely get rid of) the virus and far fewer people in Britain develop serious HIV-related illnesses.  This means the term ‘AIDS’ isn’t used much by UK doctors now (instead they talk about late stage or advanced HIV disease or HIV infection).

How to Keep Safe:

  • Always use a condom for vaginal, anal and oral sex
  • Never share any drug equipment
  • Never share personal items such as razors, or tooth brushes.

For More Information:

  • HIV Scotland
  • Terrence Higgins Trust
  • HIV Wake Up

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Catching a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) is a real risk that you take when engaging in sexual activity.  This can be oral, anal or vaginal sex and if you are using sex toys. STI’s like lice and warts can be passed on with skin to skin contact.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the UK and is on the increase.  You can get it through oral, vaginal or anal sex.

Symptoms:

  • In women: unusual vaginal discharge, pain with passing urine, unusual bleeding, pain during sex.
  • In men: white/cloudy or watery discharge from the penis, pain when passing urine, painful swelling of the testicles.

Treatment:

  • It’s easily treated with a short course of antibiotics from your GP or Sexual Health clinic.  Your partner/partners also need to be tested and treated.

Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is similar to Chlamydia but is less common.  You can get it through oral, vaginal or anal sex.

Symptoms:

  • In women: unusual discharge from the vagina, burning feeling when passing urine, unusual bleeding, irritation/discharge from the anus.
  • In men: yellow/white discharge from the penis, burning feeling when passing urine, inflammation of the testicles, irritation/discharge from the anus.

Treatment:

  • It’s treated by a short course of antibiotics from your GP or Sexual Health clinic.  Your partner/partners also need to be tested and treated.

Genital Warts

Genital warts are caused by a virus. They are the most common STI.  You can get it through oral, vaginal or anal sex or through close skin to skin contact with someone who has the virus.

Symptoms:

  • Growths or warts in the genital area around the back passage. They may look like pinkish/white small lumps or larger cauliflower shaped lumps.
  • They usually have no symptoms but they may itch.
  • They can take from 3 months to a year or more to appear after the infection with the wart virus.
  • Warts are not always visible, especially if they occur inside the vagina or in the anus.

Treatment:

  • Warts can be treated by applying special ointments or paints, by freezing or by surgical removal under local anaesthetic. If you have warts you should go to your GP or a Sexual Health clinic.

Genital Herpes

Herpes on the face is called a cold sore but you can get it on the genitals or anywhere else.  You can get it through kissing (mouth to mouth), oral sex, and penetrative sex and through skin to skin contact.

Symptoms (sometimes there are none):

  • Tingling or itching around the genital or anal area.
  • Appearance of small painful fluid filled blisters.
  • General flu like symptoms such as headache, backache or temperature.
  • Burning sensation when passing urine.

Treatment:

  • No cure is available but, an anti viral drug in tablet form can reduce the severity and length of the episodes. You can get these from your GP or sexual health clinic.

Syphilis

The first signs of syphilis are often painless sores or rashes followed by flu-like symptoms. Left untreated, it can lead to heart disease or brain damage. You can get it through oral, vaginal or anal sex and through skin contact with any sores or rashes. It is more common in men who have sex with men.

Symptoms:

  • A painless sore lasting two or three weeks may appear in or near the genitals, mouth or anus within the first three months of infection.
  • Up to six months after infection it’s likely that a rash on the body on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet will appear, together with flu like symptoms lasting for between two and six weeks.

Treatment:

  • It is treated by taking a longer course of antibiotic from your GP or Sexual Health clinic. Your partner/partners  should also be tested and treated.