Sexually transmitted infection health-care seeking behaviour in the Netherlands: general practitioner attends to the majority of sexually transmitted infection consultations

van Bergen, Jan E. A. M.; Kerssens, Jan J.; Schellevis, Francois G.; Sandfort, Theo G.; Coenen, Ton T.; Bindels, Patrick J.
June 2007
International Journal of STD & AIDS;Jun2007, Vol. 18 Issue 6, p374
Academic Journal
Health-care seeking behaviour for sexually transmitted infection (STI)-related symptoms is not well known in the Netherlands. Within the framework of a large representative study, the second National Survey of General Practice (NIVEL 2001), 9687 persons aged 18 years and older were interviewed about their STI and STI-related health-care seeking behaviour. In total, 1.2% of the interviewees reported STI-related symptoms in the past year (18–24 years: 5%). A (lifetime) history of STI was reported by 2.7% (18–44 years: 4%). In all, 63% of interviewees visited their general practitioner (GP) for these complaints; 20% went to an STI-clinic and/or municipal public health services and 8% to a different care-provider. A total of 9% did not undertake any action. The majority of persons with STI-related symptoms in the Netherlands visit the GP. Reported history of STI-related symptoms was twice lower in the Netherlands compared with the UK National Sexual Health Survey. Appropriate attention for sexual health in primary care is needed.


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