Dec 5th, 2018, 12:27 PM

Sexual Health for Students

By Jane Addington-May
Image credit: Unsplash/Sharon McCutcheon
Being tested and treated for STDs in Paris

An integral part of a healthy sex life is regular screenings for STDs. It can be a daunting task in one's home country, and feel like even more of a trial as a foreigner in Paris. Worry not! Here's what you need to know for a hassle (and COST) free testing. 

If you don't have an OB/GYN (obstetrics and gynecologist) or urologist already in France, your best bet for quick and easy screenings are one of the many free clinics in the city. 

While most clinics take walk-ins, the wait can sometimes be long, so you’re best off calling ahead of time to schedule an appointment. They’ll never ask you for your name, only your initials and date of birth, just say a bit about what you need to come in for, a screening or consultation, and you’ll get a time and date, usually within the week. You’ll likely have to have to have this conversation in French, but if your French isn’t quite there, don’t worry, if you’re an AUP student just make a quick trip to the health office in Combes and ask for help calling to make an appointment, or ask any other person you’re comfortable with who has a decent French level.

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Once you get to the clinic, just go to the reception desk and say you have an appointment and confirm your initials and date of birth. You’ll be given a form to fill out regarding your sexual history and health, which will be in French, but, again, not to worry, they’re just the standard questions, and Google Translate can help you out. On top of asking for your basic history (number of partners, the last time you were tested, what brought you in, etc.), you’ll also have the chance to indicate if you want to speak about any instances of sexual violence (survivor support at AUP information can be found here).

Again, this process is entirely anonymous, you’ll never be required to provide any identifying information unless you chose to have your results sent to you via email or post.

Hand in your completed form, and once you do, you’ll be given it back along with a sticker with your dossier number on it. Congratulations! This is your new identity.  

Your number will be called, and you’ll meet with a doctor. They’ll go through the form with you and make a plan for going forward. If you’re concerned about a bacterial infection, they may offer to give you a one-time round of antibiotics there and then.


Image Credit: Flickr / Ryan Adams

Next, if you’re there for testing, you’ll be sent off with a nurse to draw blood and provide either a urine sample or a swab test (don’t worry, those last two you do yourself). The nurse will also be the one to give you whatever medication the doctor’s decided to prescribe to you ahead of time. Once the nurse has your blood and urine/swab test, you’re free to go.

You’ll be given a final piece of paper with your dossier number on it, and just bring that back with you a week later to be given your results. The doctor will go over them with you, and if treatment is still necessary, they can discuss those options with you then. For most serious infections, such as HIV, you’ll need to contact a doctor to see regularly, but otherwise, most treatment can be done in the clinic, free of charge.

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It can be frightening, of course, but the clinics make it as painless as possible. France, unlike the United States, has less of a stigma attached to STIs/STDs. These things happen, what’s important is to keep yourself, and your partners, healthy, and take action as soon as you can.

CeGIDD : Centre gratuit d’information, de dépistage, et de diagnostic, are completely free clinics run by the city of Paris, with four locations in the city:

Le Figuier:                                               Ridder:                                                
2, rue du Figuier, 75004 Paris                 3, rue de Ridder, 750014 Paris          
Tel: 01 49 96 62 70                                  Tel : 01 58 14 30 30                              

Boursault:                                               Belleville:
54 bis, rue Boursault, 75017 Paris         218, rue de Belleville, 75020 Paris
Tel: 01 53 06 35 60                                  Tel: 01 40 33 52 00