Here is what you should know about screening, often called testing:
The first aim of screening is to determine if the patient has contracted, or is at risk of contracting, a sexually transmitted or blood-borne infection, STBBI for short.
STBBIs are caused by viruses or bacteria and spread during sexual contact with an infected individual.
The screening process begins with a questionnaire to help the doctor evaluate your risk factors, including your number sexual partners, whether you use protection, whether you have sexual relations with sex trade workers, and so on. Your answers help us identify the STBBIs to test for, along with the samples we need from you.
We then proceed with a full medical examination, which naturally includes checking the genital area.
At the end of the screening process, the patient provides us with any samples we need, such as blood, urine, stool or swab, depending on the infections we’re testing for.
The screening process is quick, easy and painless. Also, for men, urine tests are now available to replace the urethral swab test.
The STBBIs that you should be screened for
The majority of STBBIs can be identified with proper screening. The most common infections we look for are:
Syphilis — For many years, syphilis had disappeared from Quebec, but sadly, we’ve been seeing a resurgence of this infection in recent years.
When should you get screened?
If you suspect that you have contracted an STBBI, or if you have symptoms that include a discharge from the vagina or urethra, or if you notice new lesions on your genitals, we strongly recommend that you see a doctor right away to get screened for infection.
If you have had sexual contact with a partner who has the symptoms or has been diagnosed with an STBBI, we also strongly recommend that you get screened right away.
On the other hand, a number of STBBIs are asymptomatic, meaning that they exhibit no symptoms. For example, 75 percent of chlamydia cases are asymptomatic. In other words, you might be infected without knowing it.
For this reason, we believe that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This means that you should be tested regularly. In general, any person who has sexual relations should get screened for STBBIs at least once a year.
However, your doctor will consider your risk factors and decide with you on the frequency of your screenings. He or she could suggest an annual visit, once every six months, or once every three months.
Preventing STBBIs is very important, for your health as well as that of your partners.
Certain STBBIs can have serious consequences, including abscesses, heart disease and infertility, as well as some forms of cancer.
Denying or avoiding the issue can put you and your partner at risk of serious problems.
Screening is an essential part of your sexual health. If you have a new partner, there is no shame in getting tested together. It’s a way of showing your partner that you care about them, and that you are a responsible person.
If you have contracted an STBBI, you should seek treatment right away, and alert all your partners who could be infected to encourage them to get screened, and treated if necessary. The aim is to break the chain of infection and avoid being re-infected by one or more of them. Your doctor can assist you in using our anonymous partner notification service. — You can access the partner notification service in top menu of our homepage.
The screening process is easy and painless, and can help you avoid many potential problems.
Remember: To stay sexually healthy, you should get screened regularly, but the condom remains an equally essential way to prevent infection.
Testing Clinics for tageted clientele
For men who have sex with men (MSM), intravenous drug users (IDU) & sex workers. Prompt appointments.