Sexual health clinics
Sexual health clinics or services provide treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and practical help to reduce the risk of getting them in the future. Some services are referred to as Genito Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinics which is the medical term for this field of medicine.
For many years, 'GUM' or 'clap' clinics were hidden away in hospital basements but many improved from the 1990s, with changes driven largely by gay men, developing a more positive and comprehensive understanding of gay men’s health. And for those who want them, there are clinics specifically for gay men, and evening opening times.
Having said that, improvements are not universal and the quality of service can vary between clinics. In some cases, thankfully more rarely today, we can still be patronised and mistreated by homophobic and judgemental staff, although they do seem to be on the way out.
If you are sexually active, finding a GUM clinic you like is essential, particularly if you can build up a good relationship, if required.↑ Back to top