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Sexual Health

Sexual health can be a bit of an awkward conversation to have. Whilst at university you may take your opportunity to express yourself more and seek new experiences. However, you should do this with safety and indeed respect at the forefront of your mind. Sexual health requires a respectful and positive approach to sexual relationships.

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  • Consent
  • Sexual Health Clinics

    SU Free Sexual Health Clinic

    • Every Monday during term time
    • 10am-3pm
    • 3rd Floor, Queen's Students’ Union 

    A GUM (Genitourinary Medicine) Doctor and Nurse will be on site offering:

    • STI testing
    • Information and advice
    • Contraceptive advice
    • Condoms & Emergency contraception

    You will find the SU Sexual Health Clinic on the 3rd Floor of Queen's Students' Union beside SU Advice.

    Please note: the Clinic only runs during term time and will be closed over summer break.

    Other Sexual Health Clinics

    There is also a number of sexual health clinics within Belfast. You can find information on their locations and how to contact them on the Belfast Trust webpages.

  • Online Postal STI Kits

    There is a free, discreet and confidential service called SH:24 that individuals can use to order home testing kits. These will be delivered to your address, you follow the instructions and complete the tests and then post these back to the service for free. You will then be sent a text message with the results of your test. This is usually within 7 days. To find out more about this and to order a kit, you can visit the SH:24 website.

  • Safe Sex and Contraception

    If you have engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse and need to get the emergency contraceptive pill you can get this by visiting a sexual health clinic (any noted above). You can also obtain this by going to a pharmacy. An appointment with the pharmacist may need to be made depending on the pharmacy. The sooner you take this after unprotected intercourse the more effective it will be. It should be taken no more than 72 hours after.

    If 72 hours has elapsed but you are still within a five day period of the intercourse, you may want to look into the option of an IUD (Intra uterine device) a.k.a. a ‘coil’. This may not be something that is suitable for all so you will need to speak with a medical professional to understand if this is appropriate for  you.

    Though contraception can help prevent pregnancy, not all protect against the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).

    There are a wide range of different contraception’s available, some only suitable for pregnancy prevention others work to prevent this and to help protect against unwanted infections. See the list below for information on what is available and how it works.

    Of the above options the only one that works to prevent against contracting STI’s is a condom and therefore it is recommended that you ensure that you use these if you are having sexual intercourse with a new or unfamiliar partner.

    If you are unwell whilst taking the contraceptive pill and experience vomiting, the effectiveness of the pill can be impacted. Likewise with missing pills and taking them late. Always consider using condoms if you are unwell and unsure.

  • PrEP

    The marvel that is modern medicine has seen a massive development in the treatment of and prevention from contracting HIV. PrEP stands for pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis. It is taken as a pill on an ongoing basis by someone who does not have HIV to stop them from getting HIV. PrEP is an antiretroviral drug, the same type of pill used to treat someone who is already HIV positive.

    Where can you get this?

    All GUM clinics in Northern Ireland offer PrEP. To access PrEP in Northern Ireland, you need to be;

    • over 16
    • able to attend for regular three month reviews in Belfast
    • willing to stop taking PrEP when no longer eligible
    • resident in Northern Ireland
    • HIV negative and have tested for HIV at a clinic in the previous 12 months

    If you want to look more into this medication to see if it would be beneficial for you, you should make contact with your local GUM clinic and they will be able to discuss this in more depth with you.

    It is also positive to get vaccinations against some STI’s. Again, this is something a medical professional will be able to discuss with you at your nearest GUM or Sexual Health clinic.

  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

    Notes about STI’s

    • Not all STI’s present symptoms. When you do have symptoms, these could be different from person to person.
    • Oral sex can also transmit STI’s.
    • In 2021 over 4 millions sexual health consultations were carried out in the UK. If you do happen to catch an STI don’t panic and don’t feel like you are alone in this. They are more common than you may think.
    • If you have symptoms or concerns that you may have caught something, you should get this tested as soon as possible. Firstly, STIs can cause problems in future if left untreated and secondly you increase the risk of passing the STI on to others.

    Common STI’s and Symptoms

    To find our more information on common STI’s and symptoms to be aware of, you can check out the NHS website.

  • Sexpression Belfast

    Sexpression Belfast is an independent network of student projects based at UK universities. They aim to empower young people to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health through comprehensive education.

    Sexpression Belfast provides students with the opportunity to teach classes within local secondary and primary schools, covering a range of topics; STIs, contraception, self-esteem and more. Our subcommittee Safe works within the University to provide advice to students regarding sexual health.

    For more information contact: or alternatively click here to check out their website.