Medical Q&As

STDs - screening in Dublin?

I live in Dublin would like to get tested for syphilis and other STDs, as I believe there has been a surge in such cases in Dublin. I believe it is possible to get private sexual health screening rather than going to St. James Hospital? Could you advise me where to go for private screening? I would rather not go to my GP.

If you think that you are at risk of having acquired an STD (sexually transmitted disease) then it is very wise and responsible of you to attend for screening. There has been an increase in the incidence of STDs in Dublin in recent years and it is extremely important to realise that it is possible to have an STD without having any symptoms. Chlamydia infection is a particularly good example of this phenomenon where infected individuals can infect several sexual partners without being aware of the fact that they are infected themselves. In other words it can be a totally symptomless condition. There are a number of specialists with a particular interest and expertise in STDs but access to these specialists is through referral from a GP. There are also several GPs with a special interest in this area. Most GPs would have contact details for these various doctors. If you are too embarrassed to attend your GP you could always attend another GP for this specific issue. All of us in general practice have had the experience of people attending us because the individual was too embarrassed to attend his or her own doctor. You also have the option of attending the STD clinic at the Mater Hospital. The service at both St Jamesí and the Mater is provided on a confidential basis and does not involve sending a report to your GP should you desire that such communication not take place.