Sexual health is an important thing to take care of. You should always make sure that you’re staying safe, which means practising safe sex and getting tested regularly. There are several avenues of getting tested for STIs in Maastricht which we will introduce here.
Getting tested by your GP
Your first option is to get tested by your own GP. However, you can only get tested if you believe that you are at risk of having an STI. Getting tested by your GP is not free. If you have Dutch health insurance, the cost will be reduced from your deductible. Also note that testing with your GP is confidential but not anonymous so if anonymity is crucial for you, you may prefer some other avenue.
The good thing about getting tested by your GP is that if you need counselling and treatment, they are directly able to provide you with that.
Getting tested by the GGD
The GGD centre for sexual Health offers many services so that you can ensure your health. These include:
- sexual health care
- STI testing and treatment
- contraception prescription and emergency contraception
- sense consultation for all your questions about sex (for under 25-year-olds)
- pregnancy testing
- pregnancy all-options counselling
- rape/abuse crisis services
However, their services are only available to certain groups of people. You are eligible to be tested for an STI at GGD if:
- you have been warned about an STI by the GGD or your sex partner
- you have complaints that may be due to an STI
- you are a man having sex with men
- you are a woman but your sex partner also has sex with men
- you are under the age of 25
- sex is your job
- you or your sex partner come from a country where STIs are more common
- you have had chlamydia and/or gonorrhoea in the past year
- you have been a victim of sexual violence
If you are under 25 years of age, these services are free of charge and you do not need to be insured. Additionally, if you belong to any of the risk groups mentioned above, they are also free of charge. The GGD centre also offers pre-abortion care and counselling, however, they do not have an abortion clinic but will instead forward patients to another clinic.
In case you are under 25 years of age, you are permitted to one free STI testing without indication each year. If you think it may be beneficial for you to get tested, please do so.
You can make an appointment:
- via phone (088 8805072, workdays 8:45 – 12:15, mon & wed 13:30 – 15:30)
- via mail if you have any questions (email@example.com).
Visit the GGD’s website for more information about sexual health.
Limburg4Zero: self-sampling test kit for men who have sex with men
Are you a man who (also) has sex with men and live in Limburg? You can check yourself with a test kit for sexually transmissible infections. This self-sampling test kit is offered to you by the Centres of Sexual Health in Limburg. It allows you to test for STIs and HIV confidentially and discreetly, in the comfort of your own home. For more information about the self-sampling test kit check the website!
If you are HIV positive you can currently not be tested at home yet. This also applies to PrEP users. You can make an appointment at the Public Health Service (GGD) for free STI testing.
Getting tested at the One-Day clinic
You can also get tested at a walk-in clinic in Maastricht. Before going to the clinic, you must purchase the tests via their website, which you can find here. Depending on the STIs tested as well as on how many locations you want to be tested, the test will cost you around €100 to €200. After purchasing the tests and printing the order confirmation, you can visit the walk-in clinic. The clinic is open Monday to Friday 8.30-10.30 a.m. at Gubbelstraat 6, 6211CE, Maastricht.
At the one-day clinic, the testing is anonymous. However, there is no counselling available so you will have to determine yourself which tests are needed.
Getting tested at home
If you don’t feel like going to a testing facility, you can also conduct a test at home. There are a lot of providers who allow you to order tests anonymously online or some pharmacies also sell tests. After doing the test at home, you will send the samples to a lab where they will be tested for HIV or other STIs.
There are also some self-tests that do not need to be sent to a lab. If you receive a positive result from one of these, it is important that you confirm the diagnosis through a doctor and get treatment. Some websites where you can order reliable tests are listed below .
If you are a man having sex with a man who does not have HIV, you can request a free STI and HIV home-based test kit through the Limburg4Zero project. The test will be assessed by a doctor and you will receive a response with tailored advice. This testing is monitored by the GGD Zuid-Limburg.
Lov4EU is a project collaborating with Maastricht University that provides information about prevention, testing and treatment of sexual health in the Euregion Meuse-Rhine. They offer free HIV testing at the One-Day Clinic in Maastricht. You can read more here.
Sexual violence and sexual health are important topics. The university has various initiatives which tackle these issues. For example, the university Sexual Safety Instagram page offers more information about sexual safety and violence. Additionally, UM Pride provides information and also discusses LGBTQ+ communities.