Testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
If you are experiencing any symptoms that you think might be related to an STI, come to Health Services' urgent-care clinic to see a doctor. We open at 9 am Monday to Friday. If you want to see a doctor same day, it is preferable to arrive as close to 9 am as possible, as there are only a certain amount of time slots reserved for patients without an appointment.
If you do not have any symptoms, simply book an appointment with a nurse.
There are a number of other places around the city where you get tested for STIs.
Procedure for STI testing
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
Men: The health care professional will invite you to urinate in a cup. Very little urine is needed, but you must be 2 hours without urinating before doing the test. It is private, easy, painless and takes approximately 2 mins to do. The test is done at Health Services.
Women: The health care professional will instruct you on how to proceed with the swab. It is private, easy, painless and takes approximately 2 mins to do. The test is done at Health Services.
HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and C
A blood test is used to detect these STIs. The health care professional will provide you with a blood test requisition and inform you of the nearest test centers covered by your insurance (RAMQ, other Canadian province or international). The test results will automatically be sent to Health Services.
Herpes and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
There are no screening tests that are routinely used for these STIs. The doctor can confirm a diagnosis if you have signs (e.g. sores or warts). Unfortunately, it is possible for infected individuals to transmit these STIs by skin to skin contact when they have no visible signs.
It takes approximately 10-14 days for the clinic to receive your test results. Please note that test results are not provided on the telephone. You must come in person to the clinic and see a nurse. This can be done by booking an appointment or through the walk in clinic (Monday to Friday, 9 am-4:30 pm). The nurse will explain your results and will refer you to appropriate resources for treatment if necessary. Never assume that 'no news is good news'. It is your responsibility to follow up.
STI testing is recommended for everyone who is sexually active. Remember, many infections cause no symptoms, especially in the early stages, but they can still cause irreversible damage, such as infertility. Health professionals recommend that STI testing be done every year if you are in a stable monogamous relationship, and every 6 months if you are not. Don't forget that even though testing is a an important part of taking care of your health, there are many ways to reduce the risk of getting and spreading an STI, including using a condom and other safer sex practices.
You can discuss any issue related to safer sex with the nurse or the doctor. Education and prescriptions can also be provided for birth control options. STI testing is a great opportunity to discuss your vaccine status with the nurse. There are several vaccines that help prevent STIs, such as Gardasil for HPV and Engerix for Hepatitis B.