Read the full article below:
What is cliniQ?
cliniQ is a groundbreaking sexual health and wellbeing service for members of the trans* community, partners, friends and families; the only one of its kind in the UK. You can find us every Wednesday between 5pm and 7.30pm at 56 Dean Street in the heart of London’s Soho. We are a trans* led and queer inclusive space where people can feel more comfortable in a non-judgemental, gender nonbinary service. At cliniQ we adopt a holistic approach and aim to enhance clients’ physical and mental health, respecting clients’ differing lifestyles, way of presenting and chosen pronouns, whilst supporting and empowering clients in their journey through life. cliniQ is led by trans* people and is a partnership project between the trans* communities, 56 Dean Street and the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and a range of other trans* aware voluntary sector organisations.
Why was cliniQ set up?
Some of the barriers for trans* people in accessing mainstream sexual health services are experiencing transphobia, being mis-gendered, being disrespected by some clinicians using the wrong pronoun and the frustration of having to explain repeatedly their gender identity because of the lack of awareness of some clinicians. In 2010 the founders of the service met and started talks with the 56 Dean Street clinic who were keen to develop a service for trans* people. cliniQ opened on 15th February 2012.
What sexual health concerns do trans* people face?
The whole range of sexual health issues and more. If and when some trans* men and trans* women, and non-binary people have any lower (genital) surgery it is important they allow for healing before having sex, as they could damage new body parts, but also because stitches and cuts can provide STIs/HIV a route into the body.
What services do you offer at cliniQ?
cliniQ offers a broad range of free, trans* and non-binary appropriate sexual health and clinical services. cliniQ also offers trans* specific advice on maintaining your sexual health and well-being. We also offer therapeutic counselling, mentoring,
drug and alcohol counselling.
Can you help with surgery or hormone therapy?
We are not able to prescribe hormones to people and we cannot offer referrals for surgery. We are able to offer liver function tests and support around many of these issues.
Does HIV affect a lot of trans people?
cliniQ are hosting a significant event on 22 October, a first of its kind in the UK: “Testing Times – tackling transphobia, stigma & HIV – The Dean Street Wellbeing programme.” The event is an evening of short films, followed by a panel discussion, addressing the issue of HIV within the trans* communities. We’re hoping the event will be the start of many discussions within public health which will include trans* people and recognise the communities as being vulnerable to HIV. There have been studies done in some parts of the world that have generated a 49% higher likelihood of HIV infection in trans* women.
Can you give us an insight into who might use cliniQ?
Trans* folks of all gender identities; partners of trans* people and people who are attracted to trans* people use our services. We also see many non-binary people and we are a queer inclusive service for all who feel uncomfortable in mainstream
What are your future plans for cliniQ?
We are constantly looking at ways to develop and offer a wider range of holistic service. We recently opened up our community drop-in service; people can walk-in for a chat, free coffee and tea without any obligation to use our service.
Can you tell us where cliniQ is and when it’s open?
We are on the 2nd level at 56 Dean St, London W1D 6AQ Every Wednesday 5pm-7.30pm. Walk-in service with no appointments needed.
In clinic hours 020 3315 6699 The
website: www.cliniq.org.uk Twitter: