Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) and Barts and the London NHS Trust are working with Chariots in Shoreditch to offer men attending the venue tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The testing service is available every Wednesday from 5.30 until 7.30pm and is being funded by City and Hackney Primary Care Trust.
Tests will be on offer for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, HIV, and Hepatitis B and C. Men who would like to take a test will be asked to give a sample – a urine sample and a blood test. The samples would then be labelled and sent off to a lab for testing. Results would be available after approximately a week. Vaccinations will also be available against Hepatitis B.
The service will be totally confidential and by holding the clinic in Chariots it’s hoped that the relaxed, informal environment will encourage more men to test. During the clinic session, staff from THT will be on hand to chat about any concerns and give information and support where necessary.
Marc Thompson, Deputy Head of Health Promotion at THT said “A third of people living with HIV don’t know they have it and many other STIs go undiagnosed because they have no symptoms. Many gay men consider going for STI testing but never get round to it so in this case, we’re taking the tests to them. It’ll take just 5 or 10 minutes out of their evening but might pick up an undiagnosed infection.”
The tests are aimed at men without symptoms. Anyone who has symptoms will be referred to a fast track GUM service at Barts Sexual Health Centre.
For further information on the Chariots clinic, please call THT Direct on 0845 12 21 200.