The lack of sexual health in Leeds.

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Have you ever tried to get a full sexual health screening done? I’m talking swabs, bloods, the works? Well I’ve had most things tested for but to my shame I’ve never had the full screening done to find out whether I have any of those lovely little darlings that sometimes take a piggy back along with you on your sexual exploits.

With all the health problems I have at the moment I thought that now was as good a time as any, especially after my ex and his rather dubious reasonings behind sex, to go and see what (if anything) is going on ‘down there’.

I looked up the Sexual Health Clinics for Leeds and got confused, so asked my nurse yesterday while getting bloods taken…she gave me a lovely list of walk in clinics, their addresses, opening times etc and off I trotted home to have a look.

You know what? Apparently now I’m over 25 I’m not supposed to want testing for these diseases! More than 70% of them were for ’25 and under only’. I’m confused, shouldn’t I be having sex now I’m over 25??

gonorrhea-superbug1

Not so much any more, it’s fighting back but still

Anyway I found one near me that had no such label, it was open this afternoon so off I went to find it (Thank you SatNav on my phone) and embarrassed as hell in I went. Guess what? They don’t take over 25’s any more either!!

Now I’ve been trying to ring the GUM (Genito-Urinary Medicine) clinic for the past couple of days but only ever get an answer message…not even a warning that it is one, just a rambling voice telling me what I already know about their opening times. They don’t even have the decency to answer the phone so I can try to book an appointment. The clinic has walk in sessions but they’re notoriously busy and the web site says to allow 2-3 hours waiting time even if you get there at 8.30am before the place is open as they suggest!

So what am I supposed to do?

I can’t make an appointment because they don’t answer the phone

I won’t be able to sit there for that long waiting with the amount of pain I’m in

I can’t get in to any of the other clinics because I’m too old (there’s another one I’ll try tomorrow but I can’t even ring to check as their phones are only manned in clinic hours)

 

I’m absolutely furious at Leeds Teaching Hospitals right now! I’m furious at Leeds Sexual Health testing services in general.

It’s a major city in this country, filled with people out getting drunk, meeting people and having sex with them pretty much every night of the week. I’d say the majority of the people in this city are over 25 years old and yet we are the ones that are given the least chance to be tested for something that the NHS keeps making adverts to encourage us to do!

chlamydia-nhs3

A real government funded add campaign about the joys of STI’s

I’m not the only one either, even the receptionist at the clinic I went to today has the same problem and encouraged me pretty vehemently to fill in a feedback form and complain. I did…I ranted and I hope they listen. As soon as I got home I went onto their website, found the ‘Contact us’ section and filled out a form on there too where I had more space to tell them just what I think of their ‘service’ and how annoyed I am at the whole ridiculous situation. I even gave them my email address so that if they have any excuses they want to give me they can try but I will say now that whether it’s financial or resource based I don’t care!

I can only hope this situation is not the same anywhere else, that you can find someone willing to test you for sexually transmitted diseases without having to fight through the miasma I am.

They don’t know who they’re up against on this one, I will fight for those damn tests and win!

 

22 responses to this post.

  1. This is shocking! You are definitely right to complain, why on earth would they think people over 25 don’t need to be tested?! Hope you manage to find somewhere that can do the tests for you soon :) xxx

    Reply

    • Thank you! I’m still annoyed about the whole situation, I finally managed to get through to that clinic and have an appointment on Monday but I really shouldn’t have struggled so much to get one! xox

      Reply

  2. Posted by Juliet on April 24, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I admire you for wanting these tests :P
    But seriously… that’s ridiculous (them not taking people above 25)…. how do they even justify this? And I can’t imagine that most people under 25 anyway desperately want to have those tests and exams – unlike you ;) xx

    Reply

    • Posted by Juliet on April 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      oh and I love the campaign funded by the government – they seem to be as bad as they are over here :D

      Reply

    • See I know that it’s more likely for people under 25 to be single and for them to be sleeping around, but as you say they’re also less likely to be that bothered about the consequences! Ah well I’ve finally managed to make an appointment, I’ll rant at them once I’ve got my results ;) lol. I bet the scare tactics for these campaigns are pretty bad no matter where you live the same as for people smoking! xox

      Reply

  3. Its all pretty crazy. A friend of mummy’s asked her doctor for the HPV vaccination, but as she was in her mid 20s she was told that there was no point as ‘the damage had already been done!’ Nice!

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    • That too?
      Jesus Christ!!!

      Reply

    • Oh that’s terrible! What if she could convince them she was a virgin? what if she hasn’t contracted it yet and it could still protect her?? Stupid stupid stupid!! I know the smear test age changed a couple of months before I turned 21, most of my friends had had it done including one who had changes detected and had to go through some horrible bits after that..I had to wait another 4 years before I could have it done! They’re slowly trying to kill us all off :S

      Reply

  4. I read this in disbelief, I swear to god it baffles me. It’s about the health of a whole community we are talking about in here.
    Denying the right to tested it’s ridiculous, what if you are 30, you partner slept around with hookers (male or female or both) and you wanna get tested because you have sufficient reasons to believe the bastard gave something that doesn’t bling but itches?
    Fight Mel, make your voice heard, that’s an absurd!
    Here at least you still have access to those, they don’t even ask questions (yet), but soon it’ll change, the health department minster recently approved a law to remove the oxygen equipement used by state paid nurses who visit patients at home, so if an elderly patient needs oxygen now, the nurse won’t be able to assist, they’d have to call an ambulance (they are trying to kill everybody).

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    • Then you have to do what I thought I would have to and wait on one of those two mornings a week for up to 3 hours before you’re seen…actually in that case you might managed to wangle some of the tests at your GP’s but not a full screening.
      I’ve finally got an appointment after ringing from 8am and not giving in until I got through to the muppets…I’ll be getting tested on Monday morning.

      I bet the nursing thing will be a health and safety issue, they’ll say it’s dangerous for them to transport it. Did you know they can’t use an oxygen tank for more than one patient too? They have to put it away and it gets refilled before it can be used again (I found that out from a paramedic once after we’d had to call them out) That extra time could be the difference between the patient living and dying! The rules they’re bringing in are truly stupid in some cases!! xox

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  5. Just checking in. Are you okay?

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    • I’m ok hun, I just haven’t had anything to say and no energy to even turn on the computer to check what’s been going on. Turns out the pain was an MS relapse and it explains all my mental fog too. I’ve been knitting baby clothes for my friend whose due soon and just started a lace crochet shawl that I’ll post about when my mind is a bit more coherent (http://kungenomajkis.blogspot.se/2013/04/virkad-doskallesjal-med-monster.html my friend posted about it and I’m making one for her)
      I hope you’re doing okay hunny xox

      Reply

      • Sorry you’ve been having the relapse, but thanks for replying.

        That pattern is so cool, I hadn’t seen it before, and I know someone it would be perfect for, but maybe as a scarf. You really must be doing well with the crochet to attempt this, good on you!

        I’ve been better, but I’m glad to hear from you.
        Take care xox

      • I never thought of changing it to a scarf that’s a lovely idea. I finished the shawl :) it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be and concentrating on it has helped with the pain etc. I hope I’ll manage to be back on here sometime soon and update everyone on how I am.
        Glad you’re doing okay, love, peace and ((hugs)) Xox

      • Posted by Grace on May 9, 2013 at 12:33 pm

        I’d been wondering about your absence too and while I’m glad to hear from you I’m sad it was a relapse :( I’m so sorry. I hope things will improve for you again soon. Take care. Safe, gentle hugs to you and lots of love xoxox

      • Thank you hun, I hope to be back when I’m more level again, less floaty and in pain. I hope you’re doing well xx

      • Posted by Grace on May 20, 2013 at 3:40 am

        So good to hear from you my dear!!
        I hope things will get easier for you soon… oxoxoxo

      • Ooh when did you change to Grace? I like that name :) I’m ok just have to ride this sort of crap out and be glad my mind goes foggy along with the other stuff. Thank you hun xoxox

  6. Posted by Grace on May 28, 2013 at 1:36 am

    Thank you! You’re in my thoughts… and I really hope to hear from you / see you post again soon xoxox

    Reply

  7. Posted by J Strand on July 11, 2013 at 11:22 am

    The http://www.freetest.me site does seem to be offering free tests to those over 24 in Leeds now – which must be a good thing. It’s not a full screen, just Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea but they are the most common symptomless infections. Would be good to see this access for over 24s in more areas!

    Reply

  8. Ridiculous. I would guess it’s financial. Limiting who they will test saves on the cost, correct? They are also targeting the newly sexually active, those most prone to disease, those most likely NOT to go for testing.

    One question though? Can’t your general practitioner do the testing?

    Reply

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