Wednesday, August 9, 2017
We are now offering clients the opportunity to do their own test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea, to make STI tests as client-friendly and quick as possible.
The self-test is an option for clients who don’t have any symptoms.
Clients fill in a form and answer a few questions to check the STI self-test is right for them. If it is, clients do the self-test (either taking a swab and/or a urine sample) in the clinic bathroom and return the self-testing kit to the receptionist.
A nurse will contact the person within 5 days to let them know their results, just like they would for a regular STI test. If they need treatment, the nurse will help book them an appointment.
Following a six month trial, STI self-testing is currently being rolled out to all Family Planning clinics, and will allow clients to be tested without needing an appointment.
Our national medical advisor, Dr Christine Roke, says self-testing is a way to address wait times for appointments.
“Sometimes a client comes in but they haven’t made an appointment, and we can’t fit them in right then. So it’s a good idea if they can do the self-test, because the tests are done faster,” says Dr Roke.
“If there is any problem with a client’s results, we prefer to see the client in the clinic and talk with them. The benefit is we’re a step ahead because we’ve already got the results,” Dr Roke says.
The do-it-yourself tests are already popular with young people, with 68% of the clients using the service being under 22.
Clients who would prefer to see a nurse for an STI test are still able to make a regular appointment or come to one of our drop-in clinics.
So far, STI self-testing is available at the following clinics: Ashburton, Blenheim, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Henderson, Invercargill, Lower Hutt, Manukau, Newmarket, Panmure, Porirua, Takapuna, Timaru, Wellington.
Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.