Dean Street Express: The STI clinic of the future
Infinity machines have almost replaced humans
Dean Street Express was the world’s first sexual health clinic to have an onsite Infinity machine which scans your samples and sends you your results the same day.
Located in Soho, it’s an LGBT-friendly clinic where you can register, get tested and receive your results within six hours, all for free. As the samples are tested onsite, there’s no two week waiting period like there is at other places.
At 300 visitors a day, it’s the busiest STD clinic in the UK and with the front of shop looking like something out of The Fifth Element, a high tech lab is almost what you expect to see inside.
Dean Street Express do their testing in six steps: Check-in, do your Chlamydia/Gonorrhoea test, place your sample in the pod, sit downstairs, get your HIV/Syphilis test and enjoy the rest of your day.
The pods do look fairly futuristic, but it’s much less embarrassing than holding a swab or a pee pot.
When you walk in you can see people sorting out the pods of people’s samples in a room off the reception desk. The reason they can get back to you so quickly is because they test it right there, without sending it off to some external lab.
Registering is all done on touch screens and after that you’re given a fast track card to scan in on future visits. A receptionist is there to greet you and give you your pod, but you don’t need to give them any of your details.
The interior might look a bit like a hairdresser but, despite being white in the waiting room, it’s no way near as clinical as a doctor’s office.
Once you get your pod you can make your way to the screening rooms, which are all labelled across the front and each painted a different colour.
Although most people in the waiting room were men, there was no particular type of person present. Ages looked as though they ranged from about 18 to late 50s, with some people in suits and most people in casual clothes.
I waited for about 40 minutes before I was called in. One thing I noticed was that they only call you in by your first name, which is certainly more confidential than getting a test at your regular doctors.
Speaking to the doctor and getting the HIV test took no longer than 10 minutes, but the time for the HIV test is just 60 seconds. He took my blood and then put the sample in a bucket.
After leaving his office I did the swab test, put the pod on the shelf and that was me done: I was in and out in under an hour.
It’s so easy, you can do it on your lunch break (as I’m sure a few guys were) and not feel like it was a big deal at all.
Plus they text me my results in three hours.