Q: How do I locate my nearest sexual health clinic? I don't feel comfortable going to my local GP because I go there for any other health issues I have and I feel awkward about this.
A: Lots of people have 2 or more doctors for different health issues. Sexual health is one of those things that lots of us get embarrassed talking about, especially with the family doctor who’s given us our flu injections, taken our temperature and been friends with our parents for the past 15 years.
Luckily, there are heaps of good options to get a sexual health check-up, including government-run sexual health clinics which bulk bill for services (meaning you don’t have to pay anything if you have a Medicare card). If you don’t have a Medicare card, you may still be able to access the services, but will need to contact them directly to find out the full deets. Below are the links for each state/territory’s sexual health clinics, so you should be able to find one close and convenient to you.
Family Planning is also a great place to go for sexual health checks, condoms, info, contraception, pregnancy tests and pap tests. Check out Sexual Health and Family Planning Australia for links to all of their clinics around Australia.
Remember that doctors or nurses at Sexual Health and Family Planning centres spend their whole day talking about sex, so don’t be embarrassed to seek help, ask any questions you have, and look after yourself.
Each month we ask you to send in your questions about all things sex, sexual health and contraception.
Responses are written by Giverny Lewis, a 25 year old with a Masters in Sexual Health, who currently works in the area of HIV and sexual health. Giverny is not a GP or medical professional. Any specific sexual health concerns should be raised in direct consultation with your health professional.