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- Sex Worker Clinic S
- STI symptoms
- Substance use
- Termination of pregnancy
TypeServices - Services
***Please note we are closed on bank holidays***
We provide free and confidential Sexual Health services at our centres across east London. We provide sexual health screening which includes HIV testing across all sites and various contraception. For more information on Contraception, STI testing and HIV please select from the menu on the right.
You can just walk into all of our clinics to be seen (other than those at Boots and Shrewsbury Road) but if you want to pre-book a slot please use the link below for our bookable sites:
Please note: for booked appointments, there is a 15 minute window for late patients at both The Ambrose King Centre and Sylvia Pankhurst Centre.
Our services have changed
Please keep your eye on this page for latest opening times and locations of clinics. All satellite clinics will be a mix of booked and walk-in appointments.
For the background to these changes read our news story about improvements to sexual health services across north-east London.
Our Centres of Excellence
Ambrose King Centre
The Royal London Hospital, Mount Terrace, Whitechapel, London E1 2BB
020 7377 7306/7307
- Monday 9am - 7pm (doors open at 8.30am, close at 6.30pm)
- Tuesday 9am-7pm (doors open at 8.30am, close at 6.30pm)
- Wednesday 12.00 – 7pm (doors open at 11.30am, close at 6.30pm)
- Thursday 9am - 7pm (doors open at 8.30am, close at 6.30pm)
- Friday 9am – 4pm (doors open at 8.30am, close at 3.30pm)
- Saturday – 09.00 – 4pm (doors open at 8.30am, close at 3.30pm)
Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre
40 Liberty Bridge Road. East Village, Stratford. E20 1AS
0208 496 7237
- Monday 8.30am - 7.00pm (doors open at 8am, close at 7pm)
- Tuesday 8.30am - 7.00pm (doors open at 8am, close at 7pm)
- Wednesday 12.00 - 7.00pm (doors open at 11.30am, close at 7pm)
- Thursday 8.30am - 7.00pm (doors open at 8am, close at 7pm)
- Friday 8.30am - 3.00pm (doors open 8am, close at 3pm)
- Saturday 9.00am - 1.00pm (doors open 8.30am, close at 12.30pm)
Our Local Satellite Clinics
19 Tabernacle Gardens
020 7377 7306/7307
Sylvia Pankhurst Centre
Mile End Hospital
Step Forward (21 and under only)
234 Bethnal Green Road,
St Andrews Medical
2 Hannaford Walk
Telephone: 020 7377 7306/7307 (between 9-5pm)
* Temporary opening hours
Shrewsbury Road Health Centre,
This clinic is appointment only (excluding 21 and under) and does not accept walk-ins. To book please call 020 8586 5147/5148.
9-11 High Street South, London E6 6EN
West Ham Lane
West Ham Lane Health Centre,
Triangle House Health Centre
*ONLINE BOOKED APPOINTMENTS ONLY
21 Selborne Road,
St James Medical
47 St James Street
Forest Road Medical
2 Friars Close
Tell us what you think
We’d like to hear your views about the current site, how you use it, what you use it for, what works and what doesn’t. If you would like to take part please complete the 5 minute survey.
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us @BHSexHealth for sexual health news and regular service updates.
We do not book general sexual health check-ups over the phone but please feel free to walk in to any one of our services or use the online booking links.
If your query is not urgent we advise that you email the reception staff and they will get back to you as soon as possible, the clinic phone lines can get very busy and we know how frustrating it can be to not get an answer.
Ambrose King Centre, Royal London Hospital
Telephone: 0207 377 7306 or 0207 377 7307
Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre
Telephone: 0208 496 7237
TH CASH, Mile End Hospital
Telephone: 020 7377 7898
Graham Hayton Unit, Royal London Hospital
Telephone: 0207 377 7080
For Sexual Health Test Results
Telephone: 0203 465 7960 - you will need your clinic ID number and your date of birth in 6 digits.
Staff and expertise
We understand that you may be feeling worried and vulnerable. You may even feel embarrassed about coming to a sexual health clinic – but there really is no need to be.
Our trained team of sexual health professionals will do everything we can to help; offering advice, support and quick access to testing. We can also refer you to other experts if we need to.
All our staff are professionally trained, non-judgmental, respect your privacy and dignity, and fully understand you may be feeling uncomfortable. We always do everything we can to make you feel at ease, so come and talk to us. All of our staff operative to a strict code of confidentiality.
We look forward to meeting you in one of our clinics!
We have a range of staff you may meet when you visit; these include:
Our team of doctors include fully qualified consultants who are experts in sexual health, as well as doctors who are in training. You may see a doctor if you have symptoms, recurring problems, or any other issues which need a medical opinion.
We have a great team of nurses in our clinics who have lots of experience in sexual health. You might see a consultant nurse or a nurse practitioner who will take your history, perform any necessary examinations and prescribe treatment – in a similar way to one of our Doctors.
Other members of the nursing team are in charge of making sure the clinic runs smoothly, but also see patients independently too – taking tests, processing samples and giving treatment.
Sexual Health Advisors
Our sexual health advisors are experts in supporting patients who have been diagnosed with or may have worries about sexually transmitted infections. They can also help you tell your partner(s) if they have been in contact with an infection and need testing and treatment.
Health Care Support Workers
Our team of health care support workers are dual trained; they are there to not only support the nurse practitioners and doctors with examinations and tests, but also to welcome you to clinic, check you in and make sure you are seen at the appropriate time. They will do this by asking you to complete a short registration form which helps us decide which specialist is best for your needs.
You will then be asked to take a seat in the waiting room. People may be waiting to see different specialists; so if someone is seen before you – don’t worry. Each specialist will have a different set of patients and different waiting times. If you are worried though, just speak to one of our healthcare support workers and they’ll be happy to help you.
Why choose us
Barts Health Sexual Health Services provide discreet, professional services at our centres across east London. Our services are fast, free, confidential - and on your doorstep. There are two centres of excellence at Whitechapel and Stratford, and a number of local satellite clinics on your doorstep across Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest.
Our sexual health centres are professional, friendly and discreet. You’ll be dealing with professionals, who won’t be judging your lifestyle or the choices you make.
We offer free contraception as well as testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. You don’t need to make an appointment and any test results are given to you as quickly as possible – sometimes on the same day.
If you want sexual health advice or you are worried that you might have a sexually transmitted infection, then please come and see us. Our health advisors are extremely experienced, down to earth, and will be happy to help. We see people who are straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, working in the sex trade, under 16… whoever you are, and whatever your concern, we are here to support you with practical services and independent advice.
Our clinical team is at the cutting edge of sexual health research and we often have a number of research studies on offer. These include looking at ways of getting treatment to people online; new ways of helping sex partners of people with STIs to get treated quickly and easily; evaluations of new STI tests; and HIV prevention studies.
Our services include:
- Tests for sexually transmitted infections
- Fast results - sometimes while you wait
- Sexual health check-ups
- Free contraception
At most our centres, you can just walk in – no appointment required. Or if you prefer, you can reserve a slot online – this will save you time on the day.
A safe place for men who have experienced historic sexual abuse
Clinic26 is a safe place for men who have experienced historic sexual abuse, sexual assault or rape.
At Clinic26 we offer sexual health tests, sexual wellbeing services and input from an independent sexual violence advisor in a supportive environment. Clinic26 is a service run by Barts Health in partnership with SurvivorsUK.
What Clinic26 offers
A discussion with a doctor around any sexual health concerns including routine sexual health testing, treatment for sexually transmitted infections and advice and referrals for your sexual wellbeing
A discussion with a support worker from SurvivorsUK for emotional support before or after your appointment, and for information on SurvivorsUK services or other services which may be helpful to you.
How to self-refer to Clinic26
Clinic26 is located at the Ambrose King Centre at The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. It’s open on the last Monday of the month between 1:15pm – 5pm. There are five 45 minute appointments available.
- 1.15pm - 5pm, the last Monday of every month.
- Ambrose King Centre, The Royal London Hospital
We do accept walk-in appointments however if you want to pre-book an appointment you can. Please contact us and ask for an appointment with Clinic26:
- Call 0207 377 7306
- Email: BHNT.AKC-Reception@nhs.net
Our promise to you
If you attend Clinic26, you will not be made to talk about anything that you do not want to talk about. We will assure you of your anonymity when you access this service but if you don’t have to give us your real name you don’t want to.
Help and support
Clinic26 is for men who have experienced historic sexual abuse, which means it’s over 12 months since the assault took place. We cannot gather forensic evidence or provide emergency treatment for men who have experienced sexual trauma recently.
We cannot gather forensic evidence or provide emergency treatment for men who have experienced sexual trauma recently. If you require these services please contact The Havens (020 3299 6900) or your local emergency department.
- You can also visit the NHS Choices website for information about support and services for anyone who has experienced rape or sexual assault.
Other organisations that can offer you support are:
- National Domestic Violence Helpline
- Men’s Advice Line
- London Rape Crisis
- Victim Support
Clinic26 in the news
Thinking ahead is essential when it comes to sex. It’s easy to get carried away in the moment, but avoiding an unplanned pregnancy and protecting yourself against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is very important.
We offer a fully integrated contraception service in all our routine clinics across our sites.
We also have appointments for specialist contraception clinics for women with more complex needs including those wanting implant fitting/removal and coils.
Types of contraception available are:
- Emergency contraception
- Long acting contraception
- Combined hormonal contraception
- Progestogen-only pill
- Barrier methods
If you want to come and talk to us about your options, we will give you more detailed information.
Levonelle (also known as the “morning-after pill”) can be taken up to three days (72 hours) after unprotected sex. It’s up to 95% effective within 24 hours after sex, and only 56% effective if taken between 48-72 hours after sex. It will not protect you against more unprotected sex.
EllaOne is a pill that can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex. It’s up to 95% effective. It will not protect you against more unprotected sex.
IUD (also known as the coil) – a device the size of a matchstick that is inserted into the womb to prevent pregnancy. It’s up to 99.9% effective.*
The contraceptive implant a plastic rod the size of a matchstick that is inserted under the skin on your upper arm. It’s over 99.9% effective. We are not always able to fit contraceptive implants on the same day in the walk-in clinic, if we can’t, we will make you an appointment to come back and have one fitted.
Depo-provera (also known as “the injection”) is an injection of long-acting progestogen, over 99% effective
IUD (also known as the coil)*
IUS (also known as “Mirena”) similar to the coil but is made of plastic and has the hormone progestogen in it*
Combined hormonal contraceptive pill (also known as “the pill”, “COC”) is a pill containing two hormones, oestrogen and progestogen
Combined hormonal patch
Combined hormonal patch (also know as “the patch”, “Evra”) is a patch you can put anywhere on your body that contains both oestrogen and progestogen
Vaginal ring (also known as “Nuvaring”) – a flexible plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina, containing both oestrogen and progestogen.
- is a daily pill only containing one hormone – progestogen
- is taken every day without a break
- is good for women who can’t take the combined pill
- may change your menstrual cycle, and sometimes stop your periods
- has to be taken very regularly (at the same time, each day)
Male condom is 98% effective against pregnancy if used correctly and also protects against sexually transmitted infections.
Female condom is 95% effective if used correctly and also protects against sexually transmitted infections.
Diaphragms and caps
Diaphragms and caps are made of rubber, latex or silicone and fit inside the vagina.
Please walk in or reserve a time slot to talk to us about which contraceptive is right for you.
East One Clinic
East One is a clinic for Men who have Sex with Men (MSM).
Services we offer at East One
- Free and confidential sexual health screening and advice
- Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
- Advice and monitoring for those who take, or want to take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
- Support around use of chems/recreational drugs - After Party is a charity for those who feel like their chem sex use is getting difficult to manage. We offer initial assessments and ongoing support if you feel that you need that extra bit of help.
- Slamming packs and needle exchange are available at East One and during ALL other clinic times
- Free condoms and lube
- Psychology assessments and counselling for sexual related issues
Can you help us improve our services?
Please complete this short survey - it should only take five minutes and provides us with more information about the services we can provide in the future.
If you are planning on taking PrEP or are currently taking PrEP, it is important to get monitored and have regular STI check ups. East One Clinic at Royal London Hospital is a specialist clinic just for this.
Your opinion and experience of our services are really important to us, please take a moment to fill in the appropriate survey below - it only takes a few seconds and we read every single response.
Thanks in advance.
We provide professional, friendly and discreet sexual health services across east London. Our team’s only concern is the welfare of our patients, providing impartial advice, and providing fast access to treatment for those who need it.
Sexual Health services at Sir Ludwig Guttman Centre, Stratford 40 Liberty Bridge Road Stratford E20 1AS
Patients requesting sexual health screens or contraception can either walk in and wait or book online using our appointment booking system.
We can manage the following conditions in our routine clinics:
- Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients
- HIV testing and counselling
- HIV post-exposure prophylaxis following sexual exposure
- Pregnancy testing and advice including referral for termination
- Full range of emergency and routine contraception including long-acting reversible methods (LARC)
- Free condoms and safer sex advice
- Sexual assault: follow-up care (acute sexual assault cases should be referred to The Havens)
- Onward referral of more complex problems
For more complex cases (e.g. recurrent/persistent symptoms, genital dermatoses, sexual dysfunction) please send a referral letter by post or email: email@example.com. We will contact the patient and book them into a consultant-led clinic.
If you would like urgent medical advice please call 0208 496 7375 and leave a message for the doctor in charge to call you back.
Out-of-hours tel: 020 3416 5000 This is the Trust switchboard number. Please ask to speak to the infection and immunity GUM registrar on call
Some people feel embarrassed about coming to a sexual health clinic, but there’s no need to be. All of our staff are professionally trained. We are non-judgmental, respect your privacy and dignity, and fully understand that you may be feeling uncomfortable. We always do everything we can to put you at ease.
Our receptionists will ask you to complete a registration form to help us determine which specialist is best for your needs. You’ll then be given a time slot and told which area to wait in.
During your appointment:
- a doctor, nurse, sexual health adviser or sexual health technician will ask you some questions and assess which tests are advisable
- a doctor or nurse may examine you and perform some tests
- a sexual health technician may assist the doctor or nurse and take your blood tests
- some patients can take their own swabs without the need for an examination and may just require blood tests.
We can often process swabs while you wait. The health professional who saw you will give you preliminary results and any necessary treatment before you leave.
If you are concerned about HIV please don’t worry alone – come and talk to us. We can test you (for free and in confidence) and then advise you accordingly.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Not everybody has signs or symptoms of HIV infection. Some people when first infected with HIV may experience symptoms similar to flu-like symptoms (sometimes known as seroconversion illness, or primary HIV infection). This may include:
- sore throat
- muscle aches and pains
- skin rash
- diarrhoea and / or vomiting / nausea
- high temperature / fever
- headaches / fatigue
These symptoms may be the body’s first reaction to being infected with HIV and may last up to several months. It is at this stage you are most infectious to others, therefore it is really important that you get tested.
Following the first stage you may not experience any symptoms for a number of years, and the HIV may go undetected but during this time the virus will multiply and can still be passed to other people.
The earlier you can test and be diagnosed if you are HIV positive, the better the physical outcome. Diagnosing HIV early means we can avoid any complications, and keep you healthy.
The only way for a person to know whether they have HIV is to have a test. This test looks for the part of the HIV virus itself and antibodies that the body has produced to fight off the HIV.
How is the test carried out?
The HIV test we offer is a blood test which is sent to our lab. Results are available in five working days.
We can also offer a saliva test in the clinic which reveals a result in 20 minutes. This is only suitable for certain patients and the doctor or nurse will advise if it is suitable for you.
When should I have a test?
The test can show positive as early as two weeks after infection, but HIV infection cannot be excluded until 12 weeks after exposure. Depending on the risk you have had, you may be advised to repeat your test earlier than the 12 week window if there is a chance we could pick the infection up earlier.
It is important to be tested for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as HIV. HIV is not detected from ordinary blood tests or cervical smears. You may like to talk to someone about the effects the result might have on your life before taking the test. If so. Please feel free to ask to see a health adviser when you attend the clinic.
If your HIV test is positive we will spend time with you discussing what to expect, and treatment options. We also have an HIV counselling service available.
If you have had unprotected sex, or a condom accident with someone who has (or might have) HIV, then you could take PEPSE to reduce the chance of getting HIV. PEPSE stands for ‘post-exposure prophylaxis after sexual exposure’ and is a four week course of HIV medication you can take after unprotected sex or a condom accident, to reduce the chance of becoming HIV positive. Find out more about our PEPSE service.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are welcome in all of our general clinics. We understand that LGBT people can have specific or unique sexual health concerns, so all of our staff are trained and experienced in these sexual health matters.
Some gay and bisexual men are at higher risk of getting sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, as well as facing issues such as stigma and discrimination, and being more at risk of mental health problems.
We think it’s really important that gay men feel comfortable coming to our clinics, because regular sexual health check-ups are an essential part of looking after yourself.
Research suggests that around one in seven gay men in London is HIV positive. In addition, around 1 in 25 gay men in London attending sexual health clinics, has undiagnosed HIV (they are unaware they are carrying the virus). There is no way to tell if someone is HIV-positive by looking at them, and we also know that it is very difficult for HIV-positive men to disclose their status to partners because of the stigma and fear that they may face.
This means that it is really important to practice safe sex, and to have regular sexual health checks, including a HIV test, every 6-12 months or more regularly if you have symptoms or have been exposed to a specific risk.
Gay men are also at risk of other STIs, such as hepatitis A, B and C, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV), syphilis, herpes and genital warts.
As well as comprehensive STI testing and treatment, we also offer:
- Hepatitis A and B vaccination
- Post-exposure prophylaxis after sexual exposure (PEPSE)
- Proctoscopy – this is where we examine inside your bottom with a plastic tube, to check for problems caused by STIs. This may be necessary if you have certain symptoms.
- Access to our health advisers, who are skilled in helping you disclose to your partners, and also offer ‘motivational interviewing’ to support behaviour change
- Access to our sexual health psychology service.
- Psychology service
We can refer you to see one of our sexual health psychologists, if we think it would be helpful. Common themes we deal with:
- Issues surrounding condomless sex
- Negotiating and maintaining relationships
- Enhancing assertiveness and self-esteem
- Managing difficult feelings
- Thinking about early experiences
- Solving difficulties with sexual function
- Keeping safe when using alcohol or drugs
Lesbian and bisexual women are not immune to sexually transmitted diseases, but may not realise, or find it difficult to get tested. Sometimes lesbian women are even told that they don’t need to be tested for STIs, but this is not the case.
Lesbian and bisexual women experience thrush and bacterial vaginosis, which may both cause vaginal discharge which is not sexually-transmitted. Lesbian and bisexual women have also been diagnosed with STIs such as genital warts, chlamydia, genital herpes, pelvic inflammatory disease, and hepatitis B and C.
Lesbian and bisexual women have both oral and penetrative sex, and can share bodily fluids by hands, mouth and sex toys.
Safer sex between women
If you're using sex toys, use a new condom for each partner or between penetration of different orifices (e.g. vagina and anus). Sex toys should be washed with soap and water between sessions
- Avoid oral sex if either of you has any cuts or sores in the mouth or on the lips, or use a dental dam. A dental dam is a latex or polyurethane (very thin, soft plastic) square, of about 15cm by 15cm, which you can use to cover the anus or female genitals during oral sex. It acts as a barrier to help prevent sexually transmitted infections passing from one person to another
- Some infections can be transmitted by hands, fingers and mutual vulval rubbing. Wash your hands before and after sex
- Wear latex gloves and use plenty of water-based lubricant for vaginal and anal fisting
Twice as many lesbian and bisexual women over the age of 25 have never had a cervical smear test, compared to women in general. Sometimes this is because they might not think they need to, or are worried about discussing their sexuality with a doctor or nurse. Or it may even be because they were told by a health professional they didn’t need one.
In the UK, data is not collected on the sexual orientation of women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer. This means that we can’t know that lesbians are not at risk. We also think that human papilloma virus (HPV), the virus that is linked to cervical cancer, could be transmitted through oral sex, or penetration with fingers or sex toys. In addition, many lesbian and bisexual women may have had sex with a man at some point in their lives.
This means that it is just as important to be part of the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP). This is normally accessed through your GP or practice nurse (the NCSP will get your details from their register). In England, women 25 and over are called for a cervical smear once every three years up to the age of 49, and then every five years between 50-64 years.
We do not offer routine cervical screening at our clinics, but we may take a cervical smear in certain circumstances.
There are a lot of myths and misconception around sexual health so read our myth busting information and make sure you know the facts.
Myth: Getting an STI test is painful and embarrassing
- For both men and women, tests for many STIs are quick and easy.
- If you have no symptoms then it involves a blood test, giving a urine sample for men and a self-taken vaginal sample for women
- As for the embarrassment, remember that our health professionals carry out sexual health check-ups every day.
Myth: I can’t afford STI tests and treatments
- All STI tests and treatment are completely free for everybody through the NHS at genitourinary medicine (GUM) or sexual health clinics.
- If you live in England, the National Chlamydia Screening Programme offers testing for young people under 25 at various locations around the country.
- Depending on where you live, you may also be able to get a free home testing kit.
Myth: I don’t need to worry about STIs as treatments are so effective
- Although STI treatments are very effective, it is always better to avoid getting an STI in the first place. Some viruses like genital herpes and HIV can be treated but remain in the body.
- Some STIs don’t have any signs or symptoms but you can still pass them on to a partner, so it’s important to get tested if you have taken a risk.
- Some STIs, such as gonorrhoea, are becoming resistant to antibiotics, which could make them harder to treat in future.
Myth: I can’t get an STI from oral sex
- Although the risk of getting an STI through oral sex is generally less than vaginal or anal sex, there is still a risk. Some infections are spread more easily through oral sex than others; the most commonly passed on are herpes simplex, gonorrhoea and syphilis.
- The best way to help protect yourself during oral sex is to use a male or female condom or a dam to cover your genital area or anus.
Myth: Only people with a lot of sexual partners get STIs
- STIs can be passed on through unprotected (without a condom) vaginal, anal or oral sex, by genital contact and through sharing sex toys – whether you’ve had sex once or 100 times.
- And despite what a lot of people think, STIs don’t only affect young people – today’s statistics show continued increases of some infections among older age groups.
Myth: STIs will go away on their own
- It’s very unlikely that an STI will go away by itself and if you delay seeking treatment you risk the infection causing long-term problems.
- There is also a risk of passing on the infections to partners, even if you don’t have any signs or symptoms at the time.
Read regular posts on sexual health services news and events on our patient noticeboard.
9th September 2016
There is currently a proposal that the Sexual Health services at Whipps Cross Hospital and at Newham General should be merged and relocated to form a centre of excellence in Stratford. This would be complimented by another centre of excellence in Whitechapel.
Please find consultation documents below, including your opportunity to feedback on these proposals, from both Newham and Waltham Forest councils. Also below is a summary of the Whitechapel Sexual Health inegration plan with an email address enclosed for you to let the team know of your opinion, suggestions or concerns.
If you have had unprotected sex, or a condom accident with someone who has (or might have) HIV, then you could take post exposure prophylaxis (PEPSE) to reduce the chance of getting HIV.
What is post exposure prophylaxis (PEPSE)?
PEPSE stands for ‘post-exposure prophylaxis after sexual exposure’. It is a four week course of HIV medication you can take after unprotected sex or a condom accident, to reduce the chance of becoming HIV positive.
The most common reason for being prescribed PEPSE is if you have had unprotected anal, or vaginal sex, with someone who has (or is at high risk of having) HIV. If you think you are at risk, you could take PEPSE to reduce the chance of getting HIV.
PEPSE works best the sooner it is taken after unprotected sex – and it must be within 72 hours.
I think I need PEPSE – what should I do?
If you think you might need PEPSE, you should attend a sexual health centre or go to your nearest Emergency Department (open 24 hours a day). You will be seen by a doctor who will assess the risk of HIV transmission. Your doctor will decide whether to prescribe PEPSE.
If they do prescribe it, they will normally give you a starter pack which contains five to seven days worth of medication. They will also take a blood test to test for HIV (to make sure you aren’t already HIV-positive), and to test your blood count, and how liver and kidneys are working.
What happens after I start PEPSE?
You will normally have a follow-up appointment in the sexual health clinic about five days after starting PEPSE. This is to make sure things are going well, and to give you your blood results.
You will come back to the clinic after you have been taking the medication for two weeks, we will then repeat the blood tests to check your blood count, liver and kidneys. There is normally a follow-up visit or phone call at four weeks to make sure you have completed the course of medication.
The final HIV test will be three months after you have finished taking the PEPSE.
Does PEPSE work?
Research shows that PEPSE makes infection with HIV less likely. However, PEPSE doesn’t work every time – some people who take it still become HIV positive. It can fail because the anti-HIV drugs are not active against a particular strain, or it can fail because the drugs are not taken properly.
How do I take the medication?
This depends on what combination of medication is prescribed for you. Whatever the combination, you will have to take medication every day for 28 days. The PEPSE medication may not work if you miss pills.
Are there any side effects?
This depends on the combination of medication you are prescribed – the doctor will go through this with you.
The most common side effects include:
- stomach upset or diarrhoea
As well as being prescribed the anti-HIV medication, you will also get medication for nausea and diarrhoea which you can take as required. Most of the time, the side effects settle down after a week or so.
Sex Worker Clinic S
Inclusive of all women, men, trans* and gender non-binary individuals
We have 2 clinics offering confidential advice and support especially for sex workers and those working in the adult entertainment industry called Clinic S.
Services Provided by Clinic S:
- sexual health advice
- testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections
- advice on safety at work
- hepatitis B vaccination
- emergency contraception & a full range of contraception including injections, pills, patches, IUDs and implants
- cervical smears
- free condoms, lube, sponges and dams
- access to other support services including the sexual health psychology service
- National Ugly Mugs (NUM) information - NUM is a scheme for sex workers to confidentially report incidents and receive warnings about dangerous individuals. NUM supports the safety of sex workers and advocates for their rights.
Clinic S at Ambrose King Centre
Royal London Hospital
View on Map
- Thursday: 1pm - 3pm walk in or appointments (Portuguese speaking advocate available)
- Friday: 9am - 11.30am walk in or appointments
To be seen in Clinic S please call/text Kim Leverett on 07976564 539
If you are concerned that you might have symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or if you feel different come and see us. The sooner you get it checked, the better.
Below are the common symptoms of STIs to look out for and the possible sexually transmitted infections that these may be caused by.
- Bleeding after sex
- Discharge from the penis
- Itching of the genitals
- Lower abdominal pain
- Lumps on the genitals
- Lumps on the testicles
- Pain in the testicle
- Pain, discharge or bleeding from the bottom
- Ulcers and/or blisters on the genitals
- Vaginal discharge
- Reserve an appointment
Most women have a menstrual cycle that can be regular, or irregular. If you are regular, your period could range from every two weeks to several months – this can be normal. You should not bleed after sex, or in between your periods. If you do, you should see a doctor to check possible causes. These may include:
- Sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia
- Hormonal problems
- Effects of hormonal contraception
- Problems with the cervix (neck of the womb)
- Problems inside the womb
Causes of bleeding after sex or in between periods include:
It is not normal for anything other than urine or semen to come out of your penis. If you have a discharge, which can vary from clear or grey to bright green, then you may have an infection.
Causes of discharge from the penis include:
- Non-specific urethritis (NSU)
If you have itching around your genitals, possible causes include:
- Thrush (yeast infection)
- Crabs (pubic lice)
- Eczema and other skin conditions
Many women experience pain just before and at the beginning of their period (period pains). This usually eases as you get older.
It is not normal to experience pelvic pain or pain low down in your tummy. If you do have this sort of pain, or deep pain during intercourse, it might relate to a problem with a sexually transmitted infection.
If you experience any of these symptoms, or abnormal vaginal discharge, you should come for a check-up. We can then check if you have any sexually transmitted infections.
Possible causes of lower abdominal pain include:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
The genital area is covered by skin in both men and women. This area of skin contains lots of glands and is also covered in hair, so it is not uncommon to get lumps and bumps in this area – just as you might in any other area where there is skin, e.g. blocked hair follicle, blocked gland.
In men, there are parts of the genitals where it is normal to have lumps. Some men have small round lumps the size of a pin-head just under the head of their penis (helmet) which are called ‘penile papules’. These are normal.
In women, there are parts of the vagina where it is also normal to have lumps. Many women who examine their vaginas for the first time, may see or feel lumps that may seem worrying. These are likely to be a normal part of the vagina called ‘vulval papillae’ or could just be part of the opening to the vagina. If you are unsure or worried, we can take a look for you.
While there are lumps and bumps that are perfectly normal, you should also keep an eye out for anything unusual.
Sexually transmitted conditions that cause lumps on the genitals include:
- Genital warts
- Molluscum Contagiosum
If you are worried, come and see us. We will check to see if you have a sexually transmitted condition (STI), and then offer you appropriate treatment.
It is important for men to regularly examine their testicles (balls) to get a good idea of what is normal – then it’s easier to notice if something has changed. The testicle feels like a hard-boiled egg – smooth, firm and oval. Around the back and over the top is a structure called the ‘epididymis’ which feels a bit like a worm or cord. It is very common to get small lumps in this area, they might feel a bit like small grapes, they are called ‘epididymal cysts’. These are nothing to worry about.
If you discover a lump interrupting the smooth surface of your testicle, or any other lumps, it is really important to see a doctor to get it checked out. Cancer in the testicles can occur in young men, as well as older men, and if detected early can be treated very successfully.
The testicles (balls) should not be painful. Some men experience very severe pain as well as redness and swelling of the scrotum (ball bag or sack). This may be because of a sexually transmitted infection, but can also be due to a condition called ‘torsion of the testicles’. If you have any pain, redness and swelling, you should see a doctor urgently to find out if it is torsion (as this requires an urgent operation).
If you experience any sort of pain in your testicles, mild or chronic, you should see your doctor to exclude infection or other causes.
Sexually transmitted infections can cause pain, discharge or bleeding from the bottom (anus) but usually as a result of direct exposure. If you haven’t had anal sex, then your symptoms are unlikely to be caused by an STI.
Causes of discharge, pain and bleeding from the anus includes:
- Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)
- Anal fissure
If you are worried, come to the clinic and we do some tests and give you any appropriate treatment.
If you have blisters or ulcers on your genital area, you may have an infection called herpes. This can also present as an itch, or small cuts, on the genital area. Genital ulcers can also be caused by syphilis.
If you are concerned, we would advise that you come to clinic so we can take a look.
It is normal to have vaginal discharge. It usually varies in colour and consistency throughout your menstrual cycle.
However, if your discharge changes, you may have an infection. Symptoms to look out for include:
- Increased discharge
- Strong smell, sometimes fishy
- Change in colour and/or consistency
- Itching around the outside and inside the vagina
- Bleeding in between your period
- Tummy pain and/or pain during intercourse
- Soreness outside the vagina
Infections that can cause an abnormal vaginal discharge include:
- Thrush (yeast infection)
- Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
- Trichomonas vaginalis (TV)
Due to the ongoing increased frequency of the sexualised use of Crystal Meth, Mephedrone, GHB/GBL in London please be aware of our East One Clinic and also the needle exchange services below:
Listed here are the needle exchange details for each of the Barts Health boroughs including a link to further services offered in each area. If you are worried about your drug and/or alcohol use please do not hesitate to raise this when you are talking to any member of our staff.
- Needle exchange services in Newham
- Needle exchange services in Tower Hamlets
- Needle exchange services in Waltham Forest
995 Romford Road, E12 5JR
Tel: 020 8478 2861
6 Church Street, E15 3HX
Tel: 020 8534 3104
Britannia Pharmacy (formally Chemifarm)
62a Leytonstone Road, E15 1SQ
Tel: 020 8555 8403
Jetsol (Healthcare Concepts)
The Hub. 123 Star Lane, E16 4PZ
Tel: 020 7476 1667
229 Plashet Road, E13 OQJ
Tel: 020 8552 2731
Manor Park Pharmacy
683 Romford Road, E12 5AD
Tel: 020 8553 4622
303 Green Street, E13 9AR
Tel: 020 8471 2575
376 Barking Road, E13 8HL
Tel: 020 7476 1326
Unit 1, Opus Studios
212 Plaistow Road, E13 OAL
Tel: 020 8471 1040
150-152 High Street North, E6 2HT
Tel: 020 8552 8955
10 Vicarage Lane, E15 4ES
Tel: 020 8555 1564
For more information on drug and alcohol services in Newham visit the Newham Council website here.
60 St Paul’s Way, E3 4AL
Tel: 020 7538 0817
93 Watney Street, E1 2QE
Tel: 020 7790 9150
Cubitt Town Pharmacy
143 Manchester Road, E14 3DN
Tel: 020 7987 1487
534 Roman Road, E3 5ES
Tel: 020 8478 2861
For more information on needle exchange and harm reduction services in Tower Hamlets visit the Tower Hamlets Council website here.
30 Hatch Lane, Chingford, E4 6LQ
Tel: 020 8529 0696
413 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, E17 9AP
Tel: 020 8520 5081
MS Dispensing Chemist
467 Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, E10 7EA
Tel: 020 8539 3417
Medicos Dispensing Chemist
399 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, E17 9AP
Tel: 020 8521 5471
13 Langthorne Road, Leytonstone, E11 4HX
Tel: 020 8539 4324
49 Hainault Road, Leytonstone, E11 1EA
Tel: 020 8539 2535
354 High Road, leyton, E10 6QE
Tel: 020 8539 2168
Termination of pregnancy
An unplanned pregnancy is often a difficult time. We aim to offer help and support in a confidential and non-judgemental way to enable women to make the right choice; to have a termination or continue with the pregnancy.
Making an appointment
If you wish to make an appointment please call the Tower Hamlets Single Point of Access (SPA) line on 0300 033 5000. The line is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
The Single Point of Access is run for a number of community services which includes GP’s, Occupational Therapists and Podiatrists, for example.
The service is available to women registered with a Tower Hamlets GP.
- Medical termination up to 9 weeks
- Surgical termination 7-14 weeks
- After 14 weeks medical or surgical, you can discuss the different methods with the doctor.
You need to be referred to other services. Information leaflets providing further details about the two methods are available at the clinic.
Your first appointment
On your first appointment at the clinic you will be given an opportunity to talk about your feelings, to get information about the procedures and to clarify any concerns you may have.
If you wish you can bring a friend, partner or relative with you. However, you will be seen on your own for part of the consultation.
If you are under 18 you will be seen by the under 18’s Pregnancy Advisor offering emotional support through the process, whatever decision you make.
You will be asked to have blood tests and swabs to check for infection.
After your first appointment, if you wish to proceed with an termination you will be given another appointment to see a doctor for your medical assessment on the same day.
When you see the doctor you will:
- Discuss the procedure of the termination – medical or surgical. Be asked about your health and any illnesses or medication, for example, epilepsy, asthma, etc.
- Have you blood pressure, height and weight checked.
- Discuss your future contraception.
- Be offered a scan.
- Sign a consent form if you decide to go ahead with the termination.
Please remember to:
- Arrive on time and allow enough time in the clinic. You may be here for the whole morning.
- Try not to bring children with you, but if this is not possible, bring another adult with you.
- Let us know by replying to the text you received about your appointment, at least 24 hours before, if you are unable to keep your appointment.
- Bring with you any medication or a list you are taking.
- Bring your medical card with you.
There is limited street parking. The nearest buses are: 25 or 205 or the nearest stations are Mile End or Stepney Green.