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An Update To Sexual Health Check-Ups For Gay Men

Hey there Guys,

Today I have been reviewing some of the health guidelines and just wanted to have a bit of an update on the current guidelines for getting sexual health check ups.

Currently it is recommended to have a sexual health check-up once a year if you are sexually active. If you have had more than 10 partners in less than 6 months then it’s recommended to have a check up twice a year or perhaps earlier if you are very sexually active.

As noted at the ACON website the current testing guideline is:

An STI check-up for a man who has had sex with men usually involves:

  • A blood sample to check for HIV, syphilis and immunity to hepatitis A and B
  • A urine sample to check for Chlamydia
  • A swab of your arse to check for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea (a swab is like a cotton bud you would use to clean inside your ears)
  • A swab of your throat to check for Gonorrhoea
  • A physical examination to check for crabs, scabies, warts and herpes

These tests are recommended for all gay men who don’t have any symptoms. Even if you don’t have any symptoms it’s still possible to have an STI and pass on the infection. Testing is the only way to know for sure.

Even if you have not had anal sex it’s important to have the swab of the arse as Chalmydia and Gonorrhoea can be also transmitted by rimming and fingers.

Of course if you have any symptoms such as discomfort when passing urine, sore testicles or anal pain, bleeding or itch it’s important to have a check-up straight away. If you have had any episodes of unsafe sex be sure to see a doctor as soon as possible as there is post exposure treatments, also known as PEP, available that can reduce the chance of HIV infection.

Don’t forget that these check-ups are a good time to discuss any issues you may have about your health. Results such as HIV are best not given over the phone so currently almost all doctors give  HIV results to patients face to face.  This allows time to explain the meaning of results and help to answer any questions that may come up.

Remember there are some sexual infections that can be present with no symptoms or signs at all; for this reason be sure to have your regular sexual check-up.

Any questions? Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Yours in good health.

Dr George

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