It’s normal to feel a little anxious the first time you get tested for a sexually transmitted infection, but there is absolutely no need for you to feel embarrassed. Sex is a normal part of life, getting tested is a responsible decision to protect yourself and others with whom you are intimate with. To relieve you of some of your anxiety, this short read will provide you with a brief description of the process you would follow to schedule an appointment for screening of any STI’s and what happens during and after your appointment.
Chlamydia is the most frequently reported STI in Manitoba, with Gonorrhea following as the second most reported STI in Manitoba. Both infections affect mostly youth (15- 24 years of age), with higher rates seen among females than within males. Many chlamydial infections are asymptomatic and, as a result, are less likely to be diagnosed and treated. Gonorrhea shares many of the same clinical features of chlamydia, along with many gonococcal infections being asymptomatic.
IMPORTANT FACT: THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS ARE NO SYMPTOMS!
Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about RISKS, baby!
A list of some questions you can ask your partner BEFORE sexual contact:
-Do you know if you have an STI?
-When was the last time you were tested for an STI?
-Do you always use protection?
-Have you ever had an STI? Which one and were you treated?
-Are you sexually active with anyone else? Have they contracted an STI?
Bringing your own protection can be a simple way to reassure yourself that you decreased the risk of contracting an STI. Unfortunately, the only way of knowing whether you have an STI is by getting tested. Even if your partner says they do not have an STI, it's best to get checked regardless if it's a new partner.
Where can I get tested?
The following Clinics provide testing for STI’s, HIV, and hepatitis. Additionally, these centers provide free condoms for the public!
Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre (AHWC)
Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 8:45 am to 3:30 pm 181 Higgins Avenue (204) 925-3700
Klinic Community Health
Monday – 4-8PM for ages 12-22, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays – 4-7:30PM for all ages, Friday and Saturday – 10-3:30PM. Closed on long weekends. 870 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba (204) 784-4090 Website: www.klinic.mb.ca
Women’s Health Clinic
419 Graham Avenue, Unit A, Winnipeg, Manitoba (204) 947-1517
Mount Carmel Clinic
886 Main Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba (204) 582-2311 Website: www.mountcarmel.ca
Nine Circles Community Health Centre
705 Broadway, Winnipeg, Manitoba Wednesday STI Walk-In Clinic 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Appointments welcome Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. (204) 940-6000 Website: www.ninecircles.ca
6-845 Dakota Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba STI screening via walk-in clinic Monday & Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm
(204) 255-4840 Website: www.youville.ca
For more centers/clinics, click here!
During your Appointment:
Be prepared to answer a couple of questions about your sexual health, such as:
- How many partners have you been sexually active with in the past month or so?
- Do you use protection?
- Do you know if your partner has contracted an STI?
A physical Exam:
This would be to observe if there are any signs of warts, sores, irritation, and discharge.
These samples could include a urine sample, cheek swab, vaginal swab, anal swab, penile swab, a blood test, or a sample of fluid from your sores or blisters.
For more information on these types of sampling, refer to our health package found in the Sexual Health category, “STI Testing Package”.
After your Appointment:
Samples will be sent to a lab to be tested.
Results can take approximately 2 weeks to come back.
- The clinic will contact you if you tested positive but will likely not contact you if you tested negative.
It is strongly recommended to put a pause on any sexual activity while you wait for your results.
For more information on Sexually Transmitted Infections and Safer Sex, visit serc.mb.ca
Overall, getting tested is nothing to feel embarrassed or ashamed about. SEX IS NORMAL. Just as you would go to the doctors for terrible cold or flu, you should go get tested if you think you have contracted a sexually transmitted infection.