Client services at Vieux Fort Sexual Health Clinic improve
by Fernelle Neptune, Ministry of Health and Wellness
RAPID HIV AND SYPHILIS TESTING IS AVAILABLE.
The Department of Health and Wellness is working toward enhancing access to sexual and reproductive health services on the island.
As of Jan. 15, Saint Lucians will be able to access services every Tuesday at the Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinic at the Vieux-Fort Wellness Centre. The clinic will provide men and women with advice on all aspects of contraception and sexual health, and on the testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Acting Senior Medical Officer in the Infectious Diseases Unit, Dr. Gail Gajadhar, said access to sexual and reproductive health services is important.
“We have had two separate clinics that offer sexual and reproductive health services at the Vieux-Fort Health Centre,” she said. “One was once a week on a Tuesday; the other was once a month every fourth Thursday. So, rather than have two separate services, we made the decision to integrate the two services. The clinic is open to everyone. You can see both male and female physicians to discuss any issues that are sexual and reproductive health related.”
Dr. Gajadhar said it is necessary that Saint Lucians are informed and empowered to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections.
“One of the things we would like to engage persons in is yearly testing, or if not, every six months. Right now, we have rapid HIV testing and we have rapid syphilis testing available. The other tests will require a blood sample being drawn, to test for infections like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HDLV 1 and 2,” she explained.
“Then there may be a patient who may complain of a discharge or burning on urination; that is another issue that requires investigation, and the Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinic can assist with that.”
The Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinic at the Old Nurses Home at the Victoria Hospital is open to the public from Monday to Thursday.