Going to the clinic to get a health check can be a nerve-wrecking experience. For some people, it can cause even more anxiety than the diagnosis itself – especially if the experience makes you feel judged and exposed.
The fear of being judged is a common fear shared by most gay people, and this is made worse in a clinical setting, where doctors and healthcare workers are expected to be professional and treat all people equally.
Seek health providers who understand your needs
If you were to call five medical schools and ask them how many hours of training are devoted to the LGBTIQ+ community, I think zero would be the most common answer.
Because LGBTQ+ care is not prioritised in medical schools, finding a doctor who understands your needs can feel impossible, especially if you don’t live in a large city. You will most likely end up seeing doctors who are ignorant about your needs, and maybe even face issues such as misgendering, interrogation of your identity, and harmful treatment.
The sexual health of the LGBTIQ+ community is complex and multidimensional. Many men deal with issues like erectile dysfunction but few are willing to talk about it or actively seek treatment. Trans people have to consider the health of two genders and many face the psychological burden of having to explain their needs to someone who may not be sympathetic.
Such aggressions can worsen the well-being of someone who is LGBTQ+. And these negative health effects can multiply for people who are low-income and underprivileged. At-risk people are the most vulnerable when it comes to access to healthcare. That’s why we have to help and support the people in our community – especially if they are not able to help themselves.
How to choose a good clinic
There are many ways to identify a good clinic. First, a good clinic always offers comprehensive, up-to-date medical information, and “stigma-free” services – whether medical or non-medical – to improve their patients’ quality of life.
They are also non-judgmental, and pride themselves on maintaining patient confidentiality. (You won’t find gossiping nurses or be made to wait in the hall where everyone can see you.) Most of all, they offer personalised treatment and treat you with respect and dignity.
These days, you can also opt for online clinics that offer telemedicine. By offering personalised care to patients within the privacy of their homes, patients are more at ease to discuss topics which might be considered taboo in public spaces. After a telemedicine visit with a doctor, the patient is prescribed medication that can then be purchased directly through the telehealth platform, all within the comfort of a patient’s home.
A good sexual health clinic can also offer online prescriptions for contraception, hormone therapy, common ED medications, hair loss treatment, home test kits for HIV and STDs, as well as PrEP and other medication refills – all without the need to see a doctor at the clinic.
Here’s a list of clinics that serve the LGBTQ+ community in Asia:
This sponsored post is brought to you by PULSE CLINIC. Since 2014, PULSE CLINIC has PRIDE-ed ourselves on providing quality healthcare for all. PULSE CLINICS are located in Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore with worldwide collaboration and support system. Here to help, not to judge.