Saturday, 3 August 2013


Despite the progress that have been made in sexual health services there is still significant

stigma associated with these type of services.  Like mental health, the providers of

sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing & contraception services have to support clients

who may come to a consultation with mixed emotions including fear, embarrassment,

shame, anger, sadness.......(the list is extensive).

Even the provision of emergency contraception or asking somebody to provide samples

for STI testing can carry these emotions and staff who serve these clients are aware of

these sensitivities.  The public health impact of stigma means that people are reluctant to

test for infections and they risk of carrying an infection to any new partner.  Also women

who don't access contraception services are more likely to experience an unwanted pregnancy.

When sexual health clients are asked about what they value the most in sexual health

services they report confidentiality, speed of service and rapid results (

14PX080).  Confidentiality is really important for young people and the young persons

charity Brook has clear guidance in every clinic about this important issue (


SXT recognizes the full privacy concerns of its clients and it has been designed to keep

everything anonymous.  No personal information is requested at any point during the SXT

service and when a mobile phone number is used it is deleted once the SXT service has

been provided.

The new features that go live next week in SXT are also influenced by these privacy

concerns.  Consequently if a client wishes to share a piece of information about an

infection / contraception or the clinic location it is possible to do this within the SXT site

without having to add their email address or mobile number.  The text box in the share

function allows a personal message to be included within the shared page and the SXT

client can decide how much personal information they would like to include.

Some clients may choose to use the share function to tell a partner about an infection

when they do this it is recommended that they use their clinic reference number

(pseudonym) to help clinics identify that partners have been effectively treated.  Other

clients may not be happy to add any details and they can keep their notification

anonymous.  Just in case this communication channel is used incorrectly, SXT has

created a feature that will allow a recipient of a shared message to report abuse and block

further messages from SXT.

Finally, SXT provides analytic pages to all the verified clinics that shows the location

of clients, the services they were looking for, the clinics that were displayed during that

search in if their clinic was chosen.  In order to maintain the IP address privacy of the

person using the locate me function on their computer or mobile, SXT has decided to

report this location with a random offset so that our client cannot be identified by their

geographical location.

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