Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are infectious diseases, most commonly caused by viruses and bacteria, that spread from one person to another through any type of sex. Examples of STIs are Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, HIV, Hepatitis C, and more. For information on individual STIs, visit sexandu.ca.
Some people have no symptoms of infection. Symptoms, if they occur, can include:
If you or your partner are experiencing any new symptoms, or are aware that you may have been exposed to an STI, it is important to get tested.
Testing for STIs is easy. Most require a urine, swab, or blood sample. Test results can take one to two weeks to return. If you’re positive, a Public Health Nurse will contact you to help arrange for treatment, and help identify any partners that may need to be notified.
Most commonly reported STIs can be treated and cured by antibiotics. Public Health provides free treatment for the three most common STIs – chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. If you have tested positive for a different STI, Public Health will help you determine where you can get treated.
CATIE is Canada’s Source for HIV and Hepatitis C Information. This site includes information on clinical trials in Ontario as well as information on rights and responsibilities and HIV and the law.
Different contraceptive methods suit different people at different stages in their lives. Luckily there are many effective options to choose from!
The hormonal methods available include: the birth control pill, the birth control patch (Evra), the birth control ring (NuvaRing), the birth control injection (Depo Provera), and the IUD. There are non hormonal options as well. These forms of birth control do not protect against sexually transmitted infections. It is important to always use condoms with your birth control.
Are you concerned about an incident of unprotected sex? Emergency Contraception Pills (ECPs) may prevent pregnancy if taken up to 5 days or 120 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse, when a condom breaks, or after a sexual assault. ECPs are hormonal pills that may prevent pregnancy by stopping the egg and sperm from joining and implanting in the uterine wall. It is best to take ECPs as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse. ECPs may reduce pregnancy by 89-65% depending on how soon they are taken, as well as how close a woman is to ovulation. http://www.sexandu.ca/contraception/emergency-contraception/
For more information go to www.sexandu.ca/. You can also see your health care provider to discuss your options or if you do not have a family doctor or nurse practitioner. Contact Health Care Connect for details or call us at The Clinic.
Sexual Health includes more than just STIs and birth control. Healthy Sexuality includes all aspects of sexual health and wellbeing.
SexandU.ca provides information on many aspects of healthy sexuality, including puberty and periods, sexual attraction and types of relationships, sexual orientation, and gender identity, as well as consent and sexual assault.
Locally, the Sexual Assault & Partner Abuse Centre offers prompt and compassionate care and resources for those in need, 24/7. The Centre can be reached at 519-376-2121 ext. 2458.
If you have other questions about healthy sexuality, please contact The Clinic (519-376-9420 ext. 1254) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk to a public health nurse.
Free, anonymous counselling on sexual health and healthy sexuality is also available by contacting Sexual Health Infoline Ontario at 1-800-668-2437 or through eChat at their website. Counselling by phone is available in multiple languages.
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