So you’ve had the shock of knowing you’ve groomed. And the sad truth is that you will not have been alone.
There are no statistics available, and adult grooming is not yet widely researched, but interviewing people for this site has largely shown that abusers pick people who want long term relationships.
They don’t generally put themselves to the effort of a different person each night, and lack the honesty to admit, if you’ve entered a sexual relationship with them, that this is casual to them. It’s therefore a lot less likely that you’ll have contracted something, but it’s a practical thing you can do to care for yourself.
The sooner an STI (sexually transmitted infection) is diagnosed, the sooner you can be treated. and reduce the chances of long-term damage to your health. It’s easier to treat a new infection than an older one
Given that you’ve inadvertently had sex with someone irresponsible and capable of lying about just about anything, the best thing to do has to be to get checked out..
So where do you start?
(Note that this is UK advice, and is not exhaustive)
NHS: STI /GUM Clinics
These services are efficient, discrete and professional. Their staff are compassionate and have seen it all before. Some act as gateways to other support services.
General advice would be to avoid a Monday, as weekends tend to lead to emergency visits, and take something to read. There may be waits.
Find out more: NHS/STI Clinics
Your GP/Doctor’s Surgery
Doctors can run some tests in their surgeries and GPS tend to take a more holistic view. Doctors often act as gateways to other services that may help you in your particular situation.
Young People’s Sexual Health Service
Call the National Sexual Health Helpline provided by Public Health England (Monday–Friday, 9am to 8pm) on: 0300 123 7123 .
Brook also offers services to the under 25s: Brook
Sexual Health Scotland
Sexual Health Scotland’s website is really useful: Sexual Health Scotland
It even offers a way to find your local clinic.
There’s a symptom checker on the site. If you are stressed and unsure about symptoms, this may just add to stress levels and add worries. Think hard if knowing what something MIGHT be will add any relief at an already stressful time.
At home STI checks
If you have the budget to pay for private, at home checks these are an option. Considerations include:
- Timings: whilst some STIs can be checked for almost immediately, others can’t, so check this out prior to testing;
- What support is offered in case of bad news.
Two suppliers on a Google search (not tried out) include:
- Let’s Get Checked, as at 29 Oct 2018 offered £239 for a full check but not HIV. Rated 4,9/5 on 461 reviews.
- Biocure , as at 29 Oct 2018 offered various options rather than a full one, including an HIV test for £29.99. Rated 4.5 on 1,471 reviews
Please feel free to add suggestions below – this aims to be a valuable resource with practical suggestions. Spam will be removed.