STI Questions and Answers

What Is An STI?

STI stands for sexually transmitted infection. This is a group of infections spread by vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse with an infected person. Herpes, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV/AIDS are examples of sexually transmitted infections.

How Do I Know If I Have An STI?

The signs of an STI are:

  • bumps, blisters sores in or around penis, vagina, anus, throat
  • pain or burning when you urinate (pee)
  • discharge from the penis or vagina
  • abdominal or pelvic pain
  • scratching or itching around the penis, vagina or anus

Many people, especially females, have no symptoms at all and could spread the infection to others without knowing.

What Should I Do If I Think I Have An STI?

See a doctor or go to a clinic. The doctor will do some tests to see if you have an infection.

What Will The Doctor Do If I Have An STI?

That depends on the kind of STI you have. If you have chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis, the doctor will give you some medication which can cure the infection. It's very important that you take the medication exactly as the doctor says you should.

If you have herpes or genital warts, the doctor may give you some medications to treat some of the symptoms.

Can I Have Sexual Intercourse If I Have An STI?

You should not have sexual intercourse while you have an active infection. For infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, you may have to go back to the doctor when you've completed your medications. Depending on if you took your medications as directed, if you have any side effects, or if symptoms return, the doctor may advise that you do not need to return for  re-testing.

The doctor will advise you when you are treated how long you must wait before engaging in sexual activity.

If you have an STI like herpes or genital warts, you can't have sexual intercourse while you have sores, bumps, blisters or pain in the affected area. You must wait for your skin to heal.

Does The Doctor Tell Anyone I Have An STI?

All the information that you give the doctor is confidential. That is, they don't tell your parents or your friends or anyone at school. They do tell the STI nurse at the Health Unit.

What Does The STI Nurse Do With The Information?

The STI nurse may talk with you about preventing STIs and about preventing further spread.

In order to stop the spread of infections, the STI nurse will want to make sure that your partner(s) is told. If you're not comfortable telling them, the STI nurse will do that for you, without giving out any information about you - not even your name.

Why Is It Important That My Partner(s) Be Informed?

There are many reasons.  Your partner(s) may not have any symptoms, which means that:

  • They could spread the infection to their partner(s) without knowing it.
  • They could develop serious problems if they are not treated.
Can I Get An STI More Than Once?

YES. Just because you've had one STI doesn't mean that you won't have another. It also doesn't mean that you won't get the same one again.

How Can I Prevent An STI?

If you're going to have sexual intercourse or oral sex, use a condom!

Follow This Rule:    NO CONDOMS, NO SEX!

Where Can I Go In Grey-Bruce For Confidential Treatment?

If you or your sexual partner think you might have an STI, contact your doctor or call one of our confidential clinic locations Sexual Health Clinic Locations in Grey Bruce for STI testing. Call for an appointment or to talk with a health care professional.

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We work with the Grey Bruce community to protect and promote health

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Grey Bruce Health Unit

101 17th Street East,

Owen Sound, ON  N4K 0A5

Phone: 519-376-9420 or
1-800-263-3456