"Being gay and getting the smear test"

About: Salford PCT

(as the patient),

I went for my first smear test (at a Salford Health Matters site). I've just turned 30 and told the nurse I have put off making the appointment as I was extremely nervous and uncomfortable about it.

I was told that they only had 'Medium' equipment. The nurse place me in the position to take the smear test. I was very uncomfortable and the nurse struggled getting the swab. As she was struggling she asked when I last slept with a man. I had to tell her I was gay as she was doing this. She continued asking if I had ever been with a man. In pain now I had to answer her questions (I found out later was not relevant and I felt they were inappropriate questions).

The nurse told me she had contaminated the swab as she had made me bleed and that I would probably have to come back.

Overall it was a traumatic experience for me and re confirmed my fears and experiences of the NHS of being completely ignorant to the possibility of having a gay patient - and meeting their needs.

I'm not alone, I know of a lot of gay girls who have told me they avoid the doctors because of being pushed to talk about their sex life and offered condoms automatically.

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