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STD/HIV screening with your GP?

  • 25-05-2004 7:50pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,031 ✭✭✭✭ LegacyUser


    Hey all,

    I've read through many of the STD related threads on this forum, including the sticky at the top, but I was wondering if anyone had any experience of, or advice on, getting tested with your GP as opposed to going to an open clinic at a hospital? I am thinking I should get screened, but I really don't want to go to one of the clinics that are specifically set up for STD/HIV testing or gay men's health - for a start, their hours of business are very inconvenient for me, but I also would admit to being uncomfortable going somewhere where EVERYONE who's there knows why you're there. Hence I think I'd prefer to go to a GP or regular health clinic. Does anyone have any recommendation with regard to private GPs or clinics to go to? I think the Suffolk Street Surgery could be a good place - they list std screening as part of their services, and I guess this would include HIV screening? I'll call them to find out for sure myself, but I guess the question is - do regular GPs in Ireland provide HIV testing? I don't expect it'll be free if I go private, so how much do such tests cost? For a HIV test, or for a full screening?

    Also, for those who have gone anywhere to get tested (hospitals or GPs), how did you generally find their attitude toward you? I'm worried they'll be very judgemental. I've heard one story at least of nurses in a certain hospital not being particularly helpful or supportive. This is a small part of the reason of why I'm thinking of going to a regular doctor, as I feel they may be more supportive and sensitive if you're handing them a big wad of cash at the end of it all ;)

    Also, for a HIV test, how long does it usually take to get the results back? If you get a full screening, do you get any results earlier? As you might have guessed, I'm predominantly concerned with HIV testing...I'm very paranoid, and on balance I think my risk is very low, but my overwhelming worry is just compelling me to go get tested.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 913 HarryD


    I think going to your regular GP to get tested is a bad idea because,
    if you test HIV+, it can affect some insurance/mortgage applications.
    And as your regular GP the doc is obliged to inform these people
    if they phone him and ask.

    There are anonymous services around, including one guy in Rathmines,
    who will test you for all STDs. (I Think it costs 150e though :-( )
    The HIV results take about a week, but for an extra 30e you can
    get the results that day.
    I think the attitude these guys take is professional. They see this kind
    of thing everyday, so they won't be judgemental.

    There are HIV self-test kits available on the internet which claim
    to be 99% accurate, but are not approved by the medical councils.
    With these you get the results in 5mins.

    I think St James will do all the tests for free, but long waiting list there :-(

    HD


  • Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 21,497 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Agent Smith


    afaik james waiting list is about 4 months.....

    i'd pay to see a diffrent gp.... tbh


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 598 DrummerBoy


    Originally posted by HarryD
    I think going to your regular GP to get tested is a bad idea because,
    if you test HIV+, it can affect some insurance/mortgage applications.

    You don't even need to test HIV+. The very fact that you had that test done does have an effect on some life insurance policies. It apparently shows that you are sexually active in an enviroment that has added risks attached to it.

    Personally I think thats a load of bollox. Nothing wrong with anyone being cautious even if it's just for peace of mind.

    A.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,448 ✭✭✭✭ Stark


    Oh my god, getting a health checkup can affect your life assurance/mortgage application? Does this just for HIV/STD tests or are there other tests than can affect your application?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 318 ✭✭ qwertyphobia


    Other people have covered the whole issue with insurance. basicialy have a clean doctor who you go to for small things and insurance/work stuff and if you want any other tests go to a different doctor.

    Contact the gp before hand on the phone and make sure they are equiped to do a full sti check up, swabs and urine not just the bloods tests.

    It will probably coat you between 120 and 150 euro's


    It's a lot of money to fork out for a test thats avaible for free elsewhere, and if you have picked up an STI you will then have to payout again for anti-biotoics and a return visit to check to see if it has cleared up the money will quickly mount up


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  • Registered Users Posts: 166,031 ✭✭✭✭ LegacyUser


    It's me, the original poster. I definitely won't be going to my regular GP for this - sorry, should have mentioned that from the start. Would it be ok giving my real name to the GP I do go to, or should I go under a different name - or is that just being too cautious?

    150 euro would be OK for me - I had read that in the US it can be 350, so it's less here than I thought! If I did have something that needed treatment, I'd probably revert to the public care (the hospitals), if it was something that was going to be ongoing anyway. I know, my logic probably seems crazy, but this is what I'm most comfortable with.

    BTW, HarryD - do you know anything more about that guy in Rathmines? If anyone has anything else to contribute it, I'd be interested to hear.

    Thanks everyone.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 913 HarryD


    Originally posted by anon2004

    BTW, HarryD - do you know anything more about that guy in Rathmines? If anyone has anything else to contribute it, I'd be interested to hear.

    I think he's actually up the road in Ranelagh.
    His name is Freeman IIRC. PM me if you want his number.
    He's pretty professional and efficient.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,846 ✭✭✭✭ eth0_


    Originally posted by Stark
    Oh my god, getting a health checkup can affect your life assurance/mortgage application? Does this just for HIV/STD tests or are there other tests than can affect your application?

    It's crazy, isn't it. What if you had been mugged by a junkie who stabbed you with a syringe? Pretty unfair.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,166 Johnny Versace


    BTW, if you ring ST. James' and tell them you actually have an STD at the moment (as in, you're pissing fire), they'll see you the next day.

    They'll test you for whatever you want.

    Be prepared to waste two full days (the tests and then getting the results 2 weeks later.)


  • Registered Users Posts: 77,967 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    Originally posted by eth0_
    It's crazy, isn't it. What if you had been mugged by a junkie who stabbed you with a syringe? Pretty unfair.
    Then, your fault or not, you are an increased risk.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,448 ✭✭✭✭ Stark


    Yes but if you score negative ...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,898 Chinafoot


    Originally posted by anon2004
    but I also would admit to being uncomfortable going somewhere where EVERYONE who's there knows why you're there.

    to be honest with ya, i'd rather go somewhere like that because the majority of people there are there for the same reason. nobody would judge you.
    Originally posted by anon2004
    This is a small part of the reason of why I'm thinking of going to a regular doctor, as I feel they may be more supportive and sensitive if you're handing them a big wad of cash at the end of it all ;)

    again i wouldnt ever go to my local GP for this kind of thing. i went to my GP when i wanted to go on the pill and i got a 15 minute lecture on how the pill is not sufficient for safe sex as it wont prtoect against STIs. now i understand that they need to make their patients aware of all situations, however it doesnt need to be done in such an aggressive manner....especially when the patient was a 16 year old who wasnt having sex but suffered with terrible period pains (and yes all that was explained to the doctor) i found my GP quite judgemental but again thats just my experience and i am in no way suggesting that all GPs would be the same.

    i just think that because the majority of people may feel uncomfortable going to the local doc with something like this, the GPs might not encounter it too often. places that are specifically for STI/HIV screening and treatment are less judgemental. i went to the Well Woman clinic on tuesday for a full screen and it cost me e130 (student rate) but i think its a small price to pay for peace of mind. the nurse i had was fantastic. she was in no way judgemental and really put me at ease. these places deal with this kind of thing every single day, your GP might not.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ cheeky_monkey


    Originally posted by anon2004
    getting tested with your GP as opposed to going to an open clinic at a hospital?
    I've never heard of anyone going to their local GP for STD testing and afaik GPs don't do STD testing. My advice would be to get yourself to St. James' in you're in Dublin. I'm not proud to say it but I've been in and out of that place like a yo-yo since 95 when I was in school.

    I've seen Dr. Derek Freedman a few times both private and in St. James' (apparently he pioneered the introduction of condoms in vending machines in Ireland - dunno how true that is) but you're better off in James cos:

    1. It's free.
    2. And it's just better, trust me.

    If you go private it will take a couple of visits and probably cost you about €150 all tolled, years ago in James' you could lose an entire day in the place but it's better now and you should be in and out within 3 hours for 2 visits. :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ cheeky_monkey


    exactly what peachypants said. If you go to a clinic, everybody keeps to themselves and the nurses are very supportive. Go private and you'll drop about 150 quid and get yourself a lecture for your trouble.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2 anon2004


    Just to clear up a couple of things - I definitely won't be going to my regular, local GP. I know, I would get a massive lecture on the matter ;) I am considering going to either the Suffolk Street Surgery (http://www.suffolkstreetsurgery.ie/) or this Dr. Derek Freedman who has been mentioned. The Suffolk Street place mentions STD screening on their site, and they have a Well Man clinic, so I'm guessing I won't get the ear chewed off me there. The main reasons I have for not going to St. James or the like is that a) I hear there is a long waiting list (4 months), and I don't have any urgent symptoms, but I do want to get tested soon b) I could go to the Suffolk Street Surgery on saturdays, hence no missed work, and c) this places deals with a variety of stuff, so I wouldn't have the embarrassment associated with going to the dedicated STD clinic in a hospital. I know that just sounds silly (the embarrassment), but it's just how I feel. I'm feeling even more inclined now to go to Suffolk Street...I was going to ring around a few GPs, but if most don't even do HIV testing etc. I guess I should save the calls.

    Thanks for everyone's advice, it is much appreciated. I don't have much of a "real-life" support network for these issues, so I hope it's ok to lean on y'all on occasion.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 318 ✭✭ qwertyphobia


    I couldn't in all honesty let a recomdation for Derek Freedman go past.

    I personaly would never recomend anyone go to him.

    Don't have contact details at home with me, but Liouse Pomery is based down in IFSC somewhere and Shay keating is over in Ranaliegh and I would recomend thoes way above Freedman.

    Also well women clinic seams to have started seening men recently so it's worth a try there as well


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2 anon2004


    Originally posted by qwertyphobia
    I couldn't in all honesty let a recomdation for Derek Freedman go past.

    I personaly would never recomend anyone go to him.

    Can I ask why? :confused::(

    Thanks for the other names. Also, if anyone has been to the Suffolk Street Surgery, I'd love to hear what you think about it..


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,523 ✭✭✭ Pataman


    1st piece of advise, change your doctor. You dont have to put up with that crap. I got a HIV test done last week, for a rather large mortgage protection, they insist on it. I raised the issue of HIV test on health questionaires and was told it is now standard on all mortagage protection over €500k. She said if asked in the future answer yes to having had the test and say it was at the request of a life assurance company. as for the test, piece of cake, swab in your mouth until the plastic piece on the end goes purple and then it is sent off to the UK for testing.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,898 Chinafoot


    Originally posted by anon2004
    The Suffolk Street place mentions STD screening on their site, and they have a Well Man clinic, so I'm guessing I won't get the ear chewed off me there. .

    a good mate of mine went to the Well Man clinic when he was getting tested and he said they were excellent. the doc told him that the majority of men that go there are STI screens and treatments. so they know what they're at.

    anyway hope it all works out for ya.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ cheeky_monkey


    anon2004 "...the embarrassment associated with going to the dedicated STD clinic in a hospital. I know that just sounds silly (the embarrassment), but it's just how I feel. "

    Do whatever feels best, personally I have no fear of doctors or embarrassment etc. My biggest fear is the disease and whether whoever's treating me knows what they're doing. To be fair to Freedman, he knows his stuff and will get you fixed up.

    Ironically Georgy Hook interviewed Freedman tonight on Newstalk 106. He was talking about the latest craze called "toothing." Apparently if you have a bluetooth phone you can press a couple of buttons and if there's someone else with a bluetooth phone within a range of 10 meters of you they're phone starts ringing and you hook up for a bit of how's yer father. Sounds a bit Irish, or if it's true a bit risky but there you go.

    /cheeky runs off to buy a bluetooth phone.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 166,031 ✭✭✭✭ LegacyUser


    I was also thinking i'd prefer not to go to one of the hospitals for a std checkup. does anyone know Dr. Lousie Pomeroy's contact number? I've looked for it everywhere from the golden pages to the irish medical council but cant find it.
    I dont think i could go to see Dr. Freedman after whats been said about him here.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 318 ✭✭ qwertyphobia


    I have liouses number at work If I don't post it's later it's because I forgot so PM me


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 318 ✭✭ qwertyphobia


    the number I have for liouse is


  • Registered Users Posts: 954 ChipZilla


    Originally posted by anon2004
    Hey all,

    I've read through many of the STD related threads on this forum, including the sticky at the top, but I was wondering if anyone had any experience of, or advice on, getting tested with your GP as opposed to going to an open clinic at a hospital?

    Would you actually trust your GP to do something like that without making a balls of it?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1 hollygo


    I'd have to say that I went to see Derek Freedman recently and he was wonderful - I was sexually assaulted about 6 months ago and had left it until now to get STD test done, as to be honest I was so much in shock at what happened and have just started counselling. Needless to say I've not been sexually active since the attack but I'm trying to get life back together now. He was exceptionally kind and professional and tested me for everything and I should have results within next 5 days. He did an immediate test for HIV and I had results that day - you can't imagine what a relief that was. He also gave me some wonderful advice on counselling and getting sexually active again as I am in a long-term relationship with someone. Really, based on my experience, I couldn't recommend him enough as he seems to really be an expert in this area and is very practical and the girl in his office was great too, not just with me but from what I saw with everyone else who was there as well. It was all ages and types of people and it was all so quick and professional and kind that if I had to recommend anywhere for testing, it's this clinic. I think the cost for a full screen is 180 euros and I paid 30 euros extra to have the HIV result on the same day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,645 ✭✭✭ IzzyWizzy


    Victor wrote: »
    Then, your fault or not, you are an increased risk.

    No, you're not, unless you test positive. It means you were unlucky and had a very unfortunate experience. Says absolutely nothing about your lifestyle or risk taking. This sort of thinking ("if you had an HIV test, you must be irresponsible") is from the dark ages and is absolutely ridiculous. It should be illegal to discriminate against someone just for having the test.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,811 ✭✭✭ Bottle_of_Smoke


    First time I got tested was my GP. http://www.drumcondraclinic.com/

    You can walk in any time during clinic hours to get the urine/swab tests done.

    If you want blood tests you have to go in at a certain time when he does the blood clinics


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,952 magneticimpulse


    Hi, I cant stress enough how responsible and mature you are by taking a test. In fact everyone should think that their health is their wealth.

    I went once in the UK and twice in France for STD tests. My boyfriends at the time went to the same clinic in the UK and the other to a Well Mans clinic in Dublin to see Shay (He had gone to see Derek but i write a later post as to why we didnt find him useful) Before a new sexual partner we always get tested. I think its a very responsible thing to do, especially if you care for the other person.

    In the UK I went to a hospital which had a GUM clinic. It was fine. In France I went to the University Medical Clinic and also to a special small STD/AIDS clinic. Nobody ever made a fuss about it as its their job to test people and they are doctors, so they do it in a professional way. Also everytime I got it done I was give a "number" which corresponded to me and they never took any personal details. To get the results I just used the "number" that corresponded to me.

    Everyone else in the clinic was there for the same reasons. So there was no stigma attached. Also, alot were young couples, 18 - 23 year old age group. Which was great that they were taking care of their health.

    Its 2010 and people in Ireland especially shouldnt feel this stigma with their health and towards STDS/HIV/AIDS. In fact if people ignore it and dont do regular checks, they are the people who are at risk spreading it around.

    If everyone had check ups we would not have STDS

    I must add, that ive never had to pay for these tests as in the UK and France they are free. I cant believe they are not free in Ireland?? However I think my brother get checked up for free through his University. Ireland is very back in the dark ages when it comes to free contraception of sexual health tests.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,952 magneticimpulse


    I couldn't in all honesty let a recomdation for Derek Freedman go past.

    I personaly would never recomend anyone go to him.

    Don't have contact details at home with me, but Liouse Pomery is based down in IFSC somewhere and Shay keating is over in Ranaliegh and I would recomend thoes way above Freedman.

    Also well women clinic seams to have started seening men recently so it's worth a try there as well

    I agree with this statement from personal experience.

    I kept getting infections or problems after sleeping with my ex. So he went to Derek once and then the 2nd time, Derek refused to look into it further. And Derek rang me at work!!! To discuss "my sexual health" in the middle of work. He said I had "thrush" and that I should stop using unnatural shower gels (i use LUSH anyway). So my colleagues could hear me saying on the phone "sorry but ive already have STD tests, i dont have thrush, I had thrush before and this is not it... and my knickers are fine...they are cotton so theres nothing wrong with my knickers or the showers i take". Talk about the most motifying experience of my life.


    My ex was in the office with him. I was motified that any doctor would interfere with someone who is not even in person or has gone to seen them? It was so not professional and I work in a high risk explosive environment...to take a phone call when I was in the middle of work was awful as I was shaking afterwards. The reason the "thrush" thing came up was that during "oral" I could get a very yeast taste from the ex before we even slept together. Anyway it turns out the ex was more then likely sleeping with someone else at the time. So I think it was very unprofessional of Derek to just assume "I was the problem".

    I had to explain to Derek I was visiting 2 different Sexual Health Clinics in France and that so far neither had found any evidence of thrush!! That whatever sexual problem myself and my ex had...had obviously not been resolved.

    My ex went to Shay and he discussed and was open minded about some non standard sexual health problems we might be having. We got some antibotics against some sort of bacteria and after that neither of us had problems!!! So we both found that Shay was far more professional!!

    Although I must add this was from our personal experience.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,811 ✭✭✭ Bottle_of_Smoke


    I couldn't in all honesty let a recomdation for Derek Freedman go past.

    I personaly would never recomend anyone go to him.

    Don't have contact details at home with me, but Liouse Pomery is based down in IFSC somewhere and Shay keating is over in Ranaliegh and I would recomend thoes way above Freedman.

    Also well women clinic seams to have started seening men recently so it's worth a try there as well

    Can honestly say Freedman's the best doctor I've ever been too.

    What's your reason for dislike of him?


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