Sextually Transmitted Illnesses

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)


Taking a Sexual History

A key skill involved in the assessment and management of STIs is taking a sexual history. A nonjudgmental environment which is supportive for patients to discuss sexual matters is essential. It is important to ask open questions and to avoid terms that make assumptions about sexual behaviour or orientation (e.g. by using the term ‘partner’). The history should address issues such as current sexual activity, gender and number of partners, contraception (including use of condoms), immunization status and other risk factors for blood borne viruses (e.g. IV drug use).

Any investigations should be explained and patients should be counselled before ordering tests. A follow up appointment may be suggested with the partner and explicit permission is required for the GP to undertake follow up with contacts.

Created by: Dr Farouq Al-Zurba

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