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Sexual health services – did you get good service?

Did you get into the sexual health clinic easily? Did they make you wait days?  The new commissioning system for sexual health services (GUM clinics) is via local authorities – it comes out of their public health budget. Sexual health is not paid for by the NHS any more.
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What You Get in the Current Magazine

Spring-Summer 2018 – Sphere magazine (18 pages in print version)

Get it sent to you by post or by email

  • New drug research – $8.9 dollar grant – and how a shingles vaccine might help with a herpes simplex vaccine
  • ‘Fake news’ you can ignore.
  • Sign the campaign to get all medical trials reported to the public. It is not fair to the volunteers who take part when they don’t find out what the result was…
  • General health and psychology issues:
  • Plausible deniabilty – Emma Norris gives her view on ‘to tell or not to tell’…
  • Come to next ‘first day of the rest of your life’ – Sophie tells us what she found so helpful when she came. It’s on 19th May. Sign up!
  • Interesting tales from the HVA office
  • Join the committee (be a trustee) – yes, you!
  • Buy Target lotion at half price
  • And we have the second/final part of My Story from Robert

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Helpline chats

The helpline gets a lot of calls every (week) day and here are some of the most common questions:

“Will I transmit my genital herpes to my child?”

The answer to that is of course, “no you cannot – it is transmitted directly skin-to-skin with the affected area so clearly a mum with a cold sore does need to take care, but a mum with a genital sore is not going to infect her child with her genital herpes.

“I had sex last night and now I have an outbreak, will I have infected my partner with genital herpes?”

The answer is there are two possibilities. One: if your body was planning on having an outbreak today, then possibly you were infectious last night and the partner might have caught it. Two: (and this is much more likely) the late night or the friction has triggered the outbreak, and you would not have had it if you had not had sex. So you were not infectious last night. By the way, if sex triggers outbreaks, use a sexual lubricant with silicone.

“Who did I get herpes from?”

It is important to remember that a person can have their first outbreak of genital herpes many years after catching it.  So, often you cannot know for sure where it came from.

“Is this (…long description…) herpes?”

We cannot diagnose on the phone. Each of the symptoms of a primary outbreak of herpes can be linked to many other illnesses. So, the ‘flu-like symptoms’ might actually be flu. The ‘itchiness that comes before the blisters appear’ might be caused by anything from allergy to washing powder, to eczema.  The ache in the leg might be a strained muscle… Get diagnosed at a clinic.

Marian Nicholson, 15 March 2018

 

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Meeting people with herpes

Like a letter in a bottle:

A member asked us about putting a Dates and Mates advert into the magazine: “I would like to meet some new friends male or female who I can trust and talk to… shall I put an ad in?” She added: “I had an invitation to a gathering but felt it was too big a step to take, I wish I had the confidence to do it …”
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Helpline – what they ask

What is it?

It amazes our new helpline volunteers how often a caller phones to describe their symptoms and get the helpliner to say what they have. We cannot do that. There are 24 ‘differential diagnoses’ that a sexual health doctor will be considering when s/he is shown what might be genital herpes.

We don’t list these on our website as we don’t want to encourage self-diagnosis.  After all, they don’t give a medical student a link to a website and say ‘Now you can diagnose sexually shared conditions”!
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Protect sexual health clinics

We need to protect sexual health services

Sign the petition  to maintain the sexual health services. Since the government REMOVED sexual health from the NHS and asked local councils to provide it, the standard of services (access times, staffing, etc) has gone down.

You need to show that members of the public do want the provision of anonymous, easily accessible sexual health clinics. Sign now!