BASHH | Consultations requiring sexual history taking

This guideline outlines good practice in sexual history taking. A lot of it is stuff that we will already be aware of, but I have pulled out a few interesting things:

  • Avoiding Offence. When asking questions that could cause offence (eg sex of partner), you can use bridging questions to build up trust, or explain why you are asking the question.
  • Sites of Exposure. Asking about oral or anal sex will allow you to ensure that the appropriate swabs are done. If you don’t test the right areas, a significant number of infections could be missed.
  • HPV vaccination. Remember to check if they have been vaccinated, if born after 1995.
  • Prostitute use. You can ask if a patient has ever ‘exchanged money for sex’ as a way of asking about prostitute use.
  • Erectile Dysfunction. Men with ED are less likely to use condoms and are at higher risk of STIs.

Louise Hudman

I'm a freelance GP locum in Winchester & Southampton locum chambers, and Pallant Medical Chambers Clinical Guidelines Lead Partner.

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