Sexual health is an important part of overall health. It means in the first place the absence of disease and infections but also covers well-being, the ability to control fertility and to have children and the ability to enjoy fulfilling relationships free from discrimination.
Worldwide, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are among the most common causes of disease and are an increasing cause of ill health. Apart from the initial symptoms and discomfort, they may result in long-term health problems such as infertility, ectopic pregnancies and genital cancers. In Ireland, rising STI rates have increased the level of concern in this area among health professionals, the government and the public.
Sexual health prevention and treatment services include a broad range of health care at different levels, both public and private, throughout the health care system. The main elements include prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and clinical care for those with STIs, contraception, screening for diseases such as genital chlamydia, psychosexual counselling and support, and specialised services for high-risk groups and diseases.
HSE public STI screening services are almost exclusively based in hospitals and special community clinic settings around Ireland and are free. In places some GP practices and family planning services may provide STI testing services for a fee.
Sexually Transmitted Infection Screening
STI screening is free of charge and confidential.
A list of public STI services is available in the Sexual Wellbeing website.
Gay Men's Health Service (GMHS)
GMHS promotes sexual health among gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men, through counselling and STI clinical services. A community-based multidisciplinary project team of medical and support staff provide free STI clinical services MSM and Trans people.
To book an appointment for our PrEP / Asymptomatic / Symptomatic clinics, please phone: 01 9212730. Deaf or hard of hearing clients can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Counselling services also at Outhouse, LGBT Centre, 105 Capel St. Dublin 1.
Women’s Health Service - Women in prostitution
The Women's Health Project was established in 1991, as part of the HIV/AIDS prevention strategy. The project, based in The Meath Primary Care Centre, 1-9 Heytesbury Street, Dublin 8, provides an accessible drop-in service, open in the evenings and weekends. A full sexual health screening and counselling service is available including HIV and Hepatitis A, B and C testing, vaccinations, smears, counselling, contraception, pregnancy testing and advice, support, referral and education. Additional services include a methadone and needle exchange programme. All services, including drugs and condoms, are free.
Student Health STI Services
Health centres in third level institutions provide an ideal opportunity to target an at-risk population for the promotion of safe sexual practices and STI screening. Consultations are free or are subsidised by the colleges.
General practitioners with their practice or specialist nurses have an important role to play in both preventative and treatment services. Prevention is facilitated through general health information, medical advice, and contraceptive advice and provision. Screening, diagnostic and treatment services may also be offered through general practitioners.
Well-Woman Clinics and Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA)
The Well-Woman clinics and the IFPA both provide STI screening for men and women. The full range of services provided by the IFPA and DWW can be found on their websites.
For more information www.sexualwellbeing.ie