Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Anyone who is sexually active can get a sexually transmitted infections or STI. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are spread through sexual contact with an infected partner. Sexual contact can mean oral sex, vaginal sex, anal sex, skin-to-skin contact and/or sharing sex toys. STIs can also be spread through non-sexual activities like sharing of razors, needles, or tools for drug use.

 

How can I protect myself against STIs?

  • Practice safer sex 
  • Always use a latex condom for vaginal and anal sex
  • Always use a latex condom or dental dam for oral sex
  • Use water-based lubrication with condoms for vaginal and anal sex
  • Make sure you know the common symptoms of STIs. Inform your doctor immediately if you notice any signs. Remember that many STIs will not have symptoms so routine testing is still important
  • Limit the number of sexual partners you have
  • Consider the impact that alcohol and drugs can have on the decisions you make about sex. Plan ahead what kind of sex you are okay with and how much alcohol or drugs you will have.
  • Stay up to date with recommended vaccines like HPV vaccine, hepatitis b vaccine and hepatitis A vaccine
  • Make informed decisions and talk to your partner(s) about their STI status and the use of protection
  • Never share needles or other drug-use tools. Find out more about Southwestern Public Health’s Needle Exchange Program (NEP)

When should I get tested for STIs?

There are many reasons why people choose to get tested for STIs. People who have contracted an STI may or may not show signs and symptoms. Anyone who has had unprotected sex can get an STI, regardless of the type of sex you’re having. The only way to know for sure if you have an STI is to get tested.

Recommended times to consider getting tested include:

  • After your last partner
  • When starting a new relationship
  • If your partner tells you he or she has an STI, ask for the name of the disease
  • If the condom broke or after having unprotected intercourse
  • If you have ever shared needles or other drug use equipment

Where can I get free treatment?

We are able to test for the following sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne infections (BBIs).

We are able to test or assess for the following sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and blood borne infections (BBIs):

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Trichomoniasis
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis C

Medication is available free from the Sexual Health Clinic for STIs that can be treated.

To book an appointment

Call 1-800-922-0096

If concerns are identified during testing, rest assured that the most common STIs are treatable, and free treatment options are available.
 

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