News Article

Sexual Health Testing: What You Need to Know


With SHAG (Sexual Health and Guidance) Week happening from 5-9 February, it is a great time to learn more about Sexual Health Testing. It’s useful to understand what sexual health testing is, why it’s important, and how regular testing can empower you to take control of your wellbeing. 

What is Sexual Health Testing? 

Sexual health testing involves examining individuals for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other related health concerns. It is a proactive step towards maintaining one’s sexual health and the health of sexual partners. 

Why is it important? 

Regular sexual health testing is a cornerstone of responsible sexual behaviour. Early detection and treatment of STIs can prevent complications and transmission to others. It is particularly crucial for individuals with multiple sexual partners or those engaging unprotected sex. Additionally, staying informed about your sexual health may encourage others to do the same. 

What happens during a sexual health test?

During a sexual health test, healthcare providers may collect samples such as blood, urine, or swabs, depending on the specific tests being conducted. These tests are quick and confidential. Some tests may require follow-up appointments for results and further discussion about any necessary treatments. 

How to get a sexual health test: 

Important to know: To access some sexual health treatments, you’ll need to be registered with a GP (General Practitioner) in the UK. To learn how to find and register with a GP, you can read this article: How can I register with a doctor and/or dentist? 

King’s College London NHS Health Centre 

If you’re a student or staff member at King’s, you can register with the King’s College London NHS Health Centre, located in Bush House South-East Wing on the third floor. The practice offers comprehensive sexual health and contraception services, including some tests that can be collected from the bathrooms and sent off for testing without a need for an appointment. Visit their website here for details on scheduling appointments, available tests and confidentiality measures. 

External Clinics and Services 

If you prefer an off-campus option, there are numerous sexual health clinics in the London area. Services like Sexual Health London can help you locate the nearest clinic, making testing more accessible. The NHS also has a clinic locator. 

Home Testing Kits 

For added convenience and privacy, some individuals may opt for home testing kits. Check out reputable online platforms such as Sexual Health London (SHL) , which provide free discreet and reliable at-home testing services. 

Support for LGBTQ+ Students 

Dean Street Clinic LGBTQ+ Services 

Dean Street Clinic offers specialised services for LGBTQ+ individuals, including support groups, counselling, and tailored sexual health resources. Check out their LGBTQ+ services here. (ADD LINK) 

LGBT Foundation 

The LGBT Foundation provides a wealth of information on sexual health, including guidance on safer sex practices and STI testing. Visit their website here. 

London Friend 

London Friend is a charity supporting the mental health and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community. They offer sexual health information, counselling, and peer support. Explore their services here. 

CliniQ (For Trans and Non-Binary People) 

This clinic is only for trans and non-binary people who need sexual health care (STI testing or contraception), PrEP, hormone injections, hormone blood levels, or a smear test. The clinic is on Tuesday evenings from 4pm to 7pm at the Caldecot Centre, King’s College Hospital. 

As we celebrate SHAG Week at KCLSU, it’s important to prioritise our sexual health by understanding the need for testing, knowing what to expect, and accessing the services available to us. Regular testing is a proactive step toward a healthier and more informed community. Remember, taking care of your sexual health is a vital aspect of overall wellbeing, and it contributes to creating a safer and more responsible environment for everyone. 

For more general guidance on sexual health support as a King’s student, you can read this article. The NHS also has useful guidance on Sexual Health Support Services in the UK 


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