In South East London, UK, Lewisham has high rates of STI, termination of pregnancy, and teenage conception. More significant community provision of STI services has been proposed nationally to address the current sexual health crisis. Lewisham Community S&RH Department has been providing testing and treatment for uncomplicated STI.
Researchers conducted this study to explore clients’ experiences using a community STI service for testing and treatment.
The present study was a qualitative study involving semi-structured interviews with 16 clients diagnosed with an STI and attending a South East London community STI service for treatment.
Three main themes emerged during the analysis. The environment in sexual health clinics is essential in determining the degree of stigma experienced by these clients. Easy access to an STI service is a crucial factor in resolving clients’ choice of services. This local community STI service provided a fair and satisfactory service to these clients requiring uncomplicated STI treatment.
This study concluded that a community STI service is acceptable to clients using a community S&RH service. More research is urgently needed to determine whether community STI treatment would be sufficient for client groups who do not currently use such a service.