Sexual health assessment

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An increase in the rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), particularly Chlamydia, and an unacceptably high level of teenage pregnancies led the UK Government to identify sexual health as a new priority public health area in their 2004 White Paper ‘Choosing health: making healthier choices easier’. The sexual health assessment is an essential tool for the GP, which will direct the need for further investigation and/or treatment for sexual health problems. However, there is still significant stigma associated with many sexual health issues. Because of the sensitive nature of this topic, patients may feel embarrassed and experience additional anxieties when presenting to their doctor. This article aims to provide a framework for performing a thorough but sensitive sexual health assessment in primary care.

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