How to test for an STI while in lockdown

How to test for an STI while in lockdown

Despite warnings for people to stay at least two metres away from anyone who doesn’t live in their household, many are still sneaking out to have sex.

New stats from Superdrug have revealed that there’s been a 46% increase for condoms, a sure-fire sign that we’re feeling frisky as the weeks go on.

Hopefully, this means that those who are breaking the rules for a shag – please, don’t – are at least protecting themselves from sexually transmitted infections, even if they are at risk of contracting coronavirus.

However, if you’ve had unprotected sex and are worried about your sexual health, don’t fret.

You can still get tested in lockdown. Here’s what to do.

How to test for an STI while in lockdown

There aren’t many positives sides to the pandemic, but it appears that self-isolation could be key to driving down STI cases in the UK, according to doctors.

‘If we could test and treat everybody for their infections now, that would be a game-changer going forward as people slowly move towards normality,’ Dr John McSorley, a sexual health doctor and president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, told BBC Newsbeat.

Currently, 54% of sexual health services in the UK have closed, so resources are more limited than usual, but STI testing is happening.

You can order an at-home testing kit for free from several sites online, but there are some important factors to consider as recommended by the NHS.

When the kit arrives, check to ensure the packaging seal hasn’t been broken and the product is within its expiry date.

It should also have a CE quality assurance mark.

However, note that if you’re on any form of regular medication, this could affect your results.

If that is the case, you’re better off booking an appointment with your GP.

Most likely, you will be given a phone consultation first, but they may also request to see you face-to-face.

At the time of writing, it is not recommended that you go to a GP surgery or sexual health clinic without calling first, as these a) might not accept drop-ins right now and b) could be closed.

If your GP surgery is open, you can also collect an STI kit there for free, take it home and swab, then bring it back and drop it into the allocated box – which will then be sent off for testing.

Depending on the process for this particular surgery or clinic, and your medical history, you will then receive a text/call or be asked to ring in for your results.

If you need more information or are unsure where to turn, you can also call NHS 111 for help.

Don’t put off getting tested just because the world is in lockdown.

If you’re worried that you might have an STI, even if you’re not showing symptoms, it’s best to get it checked out.

And until you do, don’t have unprotected sex with anyone, even your partner.

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