Screening and Prevention

Early detection and treatment of STBBIs are essential to prevent infections from spreading further.

Risk Reduction

Early identification and treatment of STBBIs can help reduce the possibility of complications for the infected individuals and their sexual partners.
This is particularly true for women, as undetected and untreated infections can lead to:

  • Pelvic infection;
  • Ectopic pregnancy;
  • Chronic pelvic pain;
  • Infertility;
  • Complications related to pregnancy and/or childbirth.

When to take a test?

  • People who think they may have contracted an STBBI should seek advice to determine when they should be tested;
  • Regardless of symptoms, people at risk should be screened regularly;
  • Visible symptoms should not be the only reason for testing, as many infections are asymptomatic. If symptoms are not present, or if a person is infectious before symptoms appear, they may transmit the infection without knowing it;
  • At the beginning of any new relationship, it is a good idea for both partners to undergo an STBBI examination and test;
  • The suspicion or diagnosis of an STBBI should prompt those concerned to undergo tests for other STBBIs, if they have not already done so.

The main screening methods are:

  • Collection of samples from the urethra, cervix, vagina, anus or throat;
  • Urinalysis;
  • Blood test.

Approaches differ according to infection and gender, and vary across the country.

The male condom

  • Sheath placed over the erect penis;
  • Prevents fluid exchange during penetration and oral sex;
  • Latex condoms offer protection against the transmission of many STBBIs;
  • The polyurethane condom is also very effective, but it is easier to break;
  • Condoms may not provide complete protection against herpes and HPV, as the viruses are likely to find their way into areas not protected by the condom.

The female condom

  • Polyurethane sheath placed inside the vagina before intercourse;
  • Equipped with two rings: one placed inside, and the other, external, remains outside the vagina;
  • Not to be used in combination with male condom.

The dental dam

  • A thin square of latex that can act as a barrier during oral sex;
  • The dam is placed over the woman's vulva and forms a barrier between her genitals and the partner's mouth;
  • It can also act as a barrier when oral sex is performed on the partner's anus;

The dam is available in some pharmacies and sexual health clinics, but can also be made from a condom or latex glove.
In that case, follow these steps:

  1. Unroll a condom;
  2. Cut off the end and the base with a pair of scissors;
  3. Open the tube by cutting along its length;
  4. Unroll the condom to form a rectangle.

Early detection is the key to success in the fight against STBBIs. Screening services are free of charge, with the exception of those offered by private clinics.

Family physicians and family medicine groups (FMGs)

The doctor can carry out certain tests, such as swabs or smears, as well as ordering blood/urine analyses.

The SIDEPs (integrated prevention and screening services for STBBI)

  • People eligible for SIDEP services must be asymptomatic (symptom-free).
  • Screening is available by appointment only;
  • Appointments can be made via the Clicsanté website or by leaving a message on the SIDEP voice mailbox at the CLSC de Hull at: 819-966-6532 or toll-free 1 800-463-6066;
  • Screening can be done anonymously.

Youth clinics

  • STBBIs screening services are offered to young people aged 12 to 24 living in the Outaouais region at various points of service: Gatineau, Hull, Aylmer, Val-des-Monts, La Pêche, Vallée-de-la-lièvre, Petite Nation and Pontiac;
  • You can make an appointment online at Clicsanté or by phone at the nearest CLSC;
  • For more information, please visit the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l'Outaouais website.

School nurse screening

Health clinics

It is also possible to have a free screening test at these 2 clinics:

Outaouais Emergency Medical Clinic
25 chemin de la Savane, Gatineau sector 
Tel. 819-561-6611

Sexual Health Clinic
179 Clarence Street, Ottawa ON K1N 5P7 
Tel. 613-234-4641

Private clinics

Private clinics offer STBBI screening at variable cost.

Marleen Tassé Health Service
1171 Bd Saint-Joseph, Gatineau sector 
Tel. 819-595-0790

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