Talking with your family doctor

Your family doctor is the first person to contact any time you have questions regarding your health. It is important that you can speak openly with your doctor about your sex life. That way he or she can offer you better care. If you have indefinite symptoms, for example, your doctor can arrange for an STI test. Choose a gay friendly doctor.

Questions about your health

Your doctor is the first person to contact if you have symptoms or questions about your health:

  • Your doctor has the best overview: in your personal medical file, he or she keeps track of which questions and health problems you have had and which medications you use.
  • Your doctor can also offer you treatment quickly, request further testing and refer you to the right care-giver.
  • Your doctor is required to maintain confidentiality. That means that without your permission, he or she is not allow to tell anything to anyone else.

Being open about your sex life

For your health, it is important that you are open about your sex life with your doctor. Your doctor can offer you better care if he or she knows that you have sex with men. Knowing a bit about your sex life will enable your doctor to recognize any health problems you might have. That way, together with you, he or she can tackle those problems more quickly. Gay and bisexual men run a greater risk of getting HIV and other STIs. Indefinite symptoms could be caused by STIs. Your doctor can take action quickly if you tell him that you may have run a risk.

Gay-friendly family doctor

Not all family doctors are good at talking about sex and sexuality. And not all family doctors are gay-friendly. If you notice that your current doctor has difficulty talking with you about sex and homosexuality, consider looking for a different doctor.
Unfortunately there isn’t any up-to-date list of gay-friendly family doctors in the Netherlands. Here are some ways to find one:

  • Ask around in your circle of friends about which doctor they would recommend.
  • Look at the websites of various family practice offices (general practitioners). In some cases they may mention giving special attention to things like sexuality. 

Having your doctor test you for STI

Many men simply go to their own doctor to get tested for HIV and other STIs. Keep in mind the following:

  • If you have symptoms, your doctor will be in a good position to assess whether those are due to HIV, to a different STI or to some other cause.
  • The disadvantage of getting tested by your own doctor is that the cost of the STI test will be paid by your basic health insurance plan. It will count towards the amount you will need to pay before your health insurance coverage starts (i.e. the obligatory deductible policy excess). That means that if you rarely ever make use of medical care, you will need to pay for the cost of the test out of your own pocket.
  • Your doctor will receive the test results just as soon as the STI clinic would receive them, if you had done the test there.
  • If the test results show that you have an STI, your doctor can immediately prescribe the right treatment for you.

 

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