SHAME and fear of judgement can hold people back from getting a sexual health check, but a Hunter-based initiative is hoping to break down some of those barriers.
Singleton GP Mitchell Tanner, with business partner James Sneddon, launched Stigma Health in December to offer an easier way for people to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Patients are asked six key questions about their sexual behaviour, cultural background, and drug use, and their answers determine which pathology tests are ordered. Dr Tanner issues a pathology request form via the MediRecords App.
In the case of chlamydia, the most common STI, Dr Tanner would provide a prescription for an antibiotic, which would be sent to the patient in the mail. But when further treatment was required, Dr Tanner said Stigma Health provided a letter explaining the diagnosis and urging them to see their GP or sexual health clinic to start treatment.
“We also provide information about contact tracing to speak to previous partners about their result.”