Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)
What is an STI?
STIs are infectious diseases spread from one person to another through any kind of sexual contact. Having unprotected sex or multiple sexual partners (regardless of your age) puts you at higher risk for contracting an STI. It can be common to have no symptoms, which is why it is important to get tested.
Untreated STIs may lead to serious health complications and spread to others. You can have more than one STI at a time. In some cases, having an infection puts you at higher risk for getting another infection like HIV.
Northwestern Ontario has some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections in the province! Get tested and treated today.
How do I protect myself and partners?
Prevention is key and knowledge is power. It can be difficult to have a conversation with your partner(s) about sexual history and STIs, but honesty and respect are vital. You could say something like, ‘I know this isn’t a sexy conversation to have, but I want to be honest with you and tell you that I get tested for STIs regularly. When was the last time you were tested?’.
Barrier methods like condoms and dental dams still remain the best way to protect against STIs. You can also make sure you are up-to-date with STI testing and vaccinations for Hepatitis and HPV.
Recreational drug or alcohol use can alter your judgment and impair your decision making. Be prepared and always have protection on hand for those ‘heat of the moment’ encounters.
How do I get tested and/or treated?
Getting tested for STIs might involve a few different tests. Knowing what part(s) of your body may have been exposed (throat, vagina, penis, rectum) is really all we need to know to help us test you appropriately. Early detection and regular testing means you and your partner(s) will be able to treat them as soon as possible and maintain your sexual health.
Many people have sex, and many people have been diagnosed with an STI. You are not alone. Although it can be scary to be told that you have an STI, treatment is often simple and easily available! Contact us for an STI appointment and we will help guide you through the process.
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