'Astonishing rise' in men going for STI tests at Maidenhead's The Garden Clinic

'Astonishing' rise in men going for STI tests at Maidenhead's The Garden Clinic

Reporter:

Lucy Golding

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'Astonishing rise' in men going for STI tests at Maidenhead's The Garden Clinic

The expansion of sexual health services in Maidenhead is causing an "astonishing rise" in the number of men going for check-ups, according to health workers.

Male visitors to The Garden Clinic based at St Mark's Hospital increased from 30 between January and March to 70 between April and June this year.

The surgery started offering screening and treatment for all STIs in January and believes word-of-mouth about the service is upping the numbers.

Before then the clinic in St Mark's Road only gave out contraception and advice.

Of those men tested between April and June, a total of 68 per cent were tested for everything including HIV.

Seven men were diagnosed with chlamydia.

Female visitors increased from 230 to 249 across the same time period.

In total 31 women who were tested between April and June were found to have chlamydia, amounting to 12 per cent of visitors overall.

The top three common STI’s tested positive in The Garden Clinic are chlamydia, genital warts and genital herpes.

This mirrors the most common STI’s nationwide.

From Thursday, August 7, The Garden Clinic will change from walk-in to an appointment system.

Opening hours will be extended from 3-7pm to meet increasing demands.

The Speakeasy clinic for people up to age 18 will stay the same and open from 3.30-5.30pm, still on a walk-in basis.

Sexual health service manager at the clinic, Chrissie Roche said: "We’ve listened to the public and are making changes to the service which we feel will improve their experience, such as reducing waiting times by changing to an appointment basis, and providing them with a wider variety of sexual health services in their local area."

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