Current genitourinary medicine patients (202) and potential future patients (542) completed a questionnaire-based survey to determine their preference for obtaining test results, their acceptability of including a named infection on contact slips and to report expectations about the acceptable length of an appointment. Overall, most respondents (78% [n = 582]) felt it unacceptable to be only contacted if their results were positive ('no news is good news'). In the clinic, a majority preferred a contact slip to be coded (68% [n = 137]), in the general public views were balanced. Significantly, more people in the general population expected an appointment to last no longer than 30 min (32% [n = 173] cf. 10% [n = 21], P < 0.001). A clear preference was expressed to receive sexually transmitted infection test results even if they are negative. Telephone and face-to-face contact were most popular with relatively few choosing mobile telephone text messaging or email as their preferred option.