Sexually Transmitted Infections

If you have had unprotected sex you may have a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Free STI check-ups are available at hospitals and clinics around the country. For a list of testing centres see the Find a Service page on

You will need to make an appointment for most clinics, although some clinics  provide a drop-in service. The service is confidential. This means that you are identified by a number rather than by your name.

You can also pay for STI screening at private clinics. This costs between €80 and €125.

What happens at an STI/GUM clinic?

An STI screening can take around two hours. First, a doctor will take your sexual history. Don’t worry about shocking them – they’ve heard it all before. Then you will have a series of tests.

  • Blood tests are used test for HIV, Hepatitis B and Syphilis.
  • Swabs are taken to test for other viruses and bacteria. A swab is where a large cotton bud is rubbed over parts of your body to take a sample for testing.

If you are having a HIV test, a health worker or doctor will talk you with you beforehand.

For more information on what happens and what to expect at an STI Clinic click here.

Results and treatment

You may be given some results while you are at the clinic. For tests that take longer you will be given an appointment to come back for the rest of your results. If you need treatment, you will get the medication there and then. A health worker will meet you to explain safer sex practices, answer any questions you may have and discuss your results.

What men should expect

  • You will be asked not to urinate for at least four hours before your appointment.
  • You may have a throat swab, penis swab and anal swab.

What men should expect at an STI Clinic

What women should expect

  • You may have a throat swab, vaginal swab and a cervical swab.

What a woman should expect at an STI Clinic



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