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Dr Jey ‘J-Z’ Zdravkov at 56 Dean Street
Andy Parsons

Things you only know if you’re a sexual health clinician in London

James FitzGerald

…according to Dr Jey ‘J-Z’ Zdravkov, 30.

HIV rates are dropping

‘At my clinic, 56 Dean Street – which is the largest in London – we’ve seen new diagnoses of HIV fall by 40 percent two years in a row. I never dreamed that could happen! It’s partly thanks to PrEP – a preventative drug for at-risk men. We’ve been pioneering it here in Soho and the NHS is now doing a wider trial.’

A clinician has to be open-minded

‘We get patients coming to see us of all ages, genders and orientations. I remember someone who’d been sent in by their BDSM master. They were wearing a lockable penis cage but didn’t have the key, so I had to give them a swab test through the bars of the cage. But coming across something like that really isn’t weird at all for people doing my job. Nobody’s here to judge anyone else.’

There are some big myths about sex out there

‘One of them is the idea that a contraceptive pill can stop women getting STIs as well as stop them getting pregnant. It’s just not true. We’re here to remind people to still use condoms.’

Super-gonorrhoea is on the up

‘It’s only appeared in the past couple of years and seems to be resistant to antibiotics, which is a big challenge for clinics. One of the things we have to recommend to people who have it is to abstain from sex entirely.’

Honesty is the best policy, especially on Tinder

‘Dating apps have made sex more available for lots of people, but that doesn’t have to mean extra risks. You’ve just got to be prepared to have a proper conversation with your partner about when you were last tested before sleeping with them. Honesty is always best!’

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