CLINIC: A new sexual helath clinic opens in Gympie today. Pictured (from left) are clinic staff Sharon Young, Daveena Hodgson, Dr Kuong Taing, Karen McGill and Tanneke Booth.
CLINIC: A new sexual helath clinic opens in Gympie today. Pictured (from left) are clinic staff Sharon Young, Daveena Hodgson, Dr Kuong Taing, Karen McGill and Tanneke Booth. Contributed

Gympie Hospital gets new clinic for sexual health

A NEW sexual health clinic opens at Gympie Hospital today.

The first of its kind for Gympie, Clinic 87 will operate from Gympie's outpatient department, and aims to reduce the number of sexually transmissible infections in the region.

Sexual Health and HIV Service director Dr Kuong Taing said the initiative was in collaboration with Gympie women's health and originally hosted in their precinct.

"The new location means that we are able to offer a full range of sexual health services to the public at no cost," Dr Taing said.

"The clinic will go a long way toward halting the growth in sexually transmissible infection rates, and assisting the local general practitioners.

"The clinic provides specialist sexual health and HIV care in the Gympie region.

"We see that there is a great need for general STI screening and contraceptive options. We can be a great referral resource if GPs need support with management of more complex sexual health issues." Dr Taing said.

HIV infection rates are on the rise in Queensland, with the number of people infected doubling compared with a decade ago. Health experts say about 25% of those infected today are unaware of their status.

The clinic will offer a variety of services including rapid HIV tests that give a result within 20 minutes.

"The Gympie community will benefit through having a sexual health/HIV service at their doorstep."

"The at-risk people in the Gympie region will benefit through having better sexual health, screening and treatment of STIs before complications occur, plus access to contraceptive options," Dr Taing said.

Patients can phone the clinic or be referred by their GP.

The service is fully confidential.

Services provided will include:

 testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and related conditions;

 HIV rapid testing (results in 20 minutes);

 HIV specialist medical care;

 Hepatitis B vaccination for at-risk groups;

  emergency contraception and contraceptive care;

 ano-genital symptoms/dermatology;

 sexual dysfunction;

 screening for sex industry workers;

 sexual health information, education and screening programs.

AT A GLANCE

What: Sunshine Coast Sexual Health and HIV Service (Clinic 87);

Where: Gympie Hospital Outpatients Services, 12 Henry St, Gympie;

When: Opens every Wednesday starting today.

Inquiries: Phone 5470 5244 for inquiries or appointments.

Gympie Times


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