Sexually Transmitted Infections
If you think you may have a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) or a Sexually Transmitted Blood-borne Infection (STBBI), you need to be seen by a family doctor, nurse practitioner or a specially trained nurse.
STI and STBBI testing and treatment is offered to individuals of all genders, orientations and ages through the Women’s Wellness Program. The program provides safe, confidential and supportive services to all clients.
Call 1-844-365-8258 (toll-free) to arrange an appointment. You can also contact your family doctor, nurse practitioner or a local Pap Screening Clinic.
What is an STI and STBBI?
A sexually transmitted infection (STI) affects both men and women and is passed from one person to another through sexual contact. An infection is when a bacteria, virus, or parasite enters and grows in or on your body. STIs are also called sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs.
A blood-borne infection (BBI) is transmitted through contact with infected blood. Some infections (for example, HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C) may be transmitted through both sexual and blood-borne transmission.
What are the most common sexually transmitted infections?
- Chlamydia – a bacterial infection that if left untreated, can lead to painful health problems and infertility.
- Gonorrhea – a bacterial infection that is found in the genital area, but it can also infect other areas of the body, such as the rectum or throat.
- Syphilis – a bacterial infection that can cause a painless sore on the genitals, rectal area or mouth.
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) – a virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). It attacks the immune system and can develop into a chronic progressive illness that can bring on other infections and chronic disease.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) – there are over 100 types of HPV. Some of these can cause anal and genital warts and others can lead to cancer. Learn more about HPV and the vaccine.
- Genital herpes – an infection that can cause painful sores on the genital area. There is no vaccine or cure, but antiviral medication can help ease the pain and control recurring episodes.
- Hepatitis B – a virus that affects the liver. Learn more about Hepatitis B and the vaccine.
- Trichomoniasis – an infection caused by a parasite.
Bacterial STI’s can be treated and cured, but STI’s caused by viruses usually cannot be cured. You can get a bacterial STI over and over again, even if it is one that you were treated for and cured of in the past.
How will I be tested?
Some sexually transmitted infections are tested using either a swab or urine test. Others may require your blood to be tested. Your health care provider will help you decide which testing is most appropriate for you.
What if I test positive?
If you test positive for an STI or STBBI, you need to tell your partner(s) from the past and present, or even future ones, depending on the infection. Ideally, they should be treated at the same time you are to prevent re-infecting you – and others.
How do I tell my partner?
If you have an STI or STBBI, you can’t keep quiet. Tell your partner(s).
If you have concerns about telling your partner(s), contact the Women’s Wellness Program as staff can suggest ways to handle the situation or they can contact your partner(s) for you. Of course, your name will be kept confidential.
How can I prevent getting an STI or STBBI in the future?
There are many things you can do to reduce your risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection:
- Use a condom;
- Reduce the number of sexual partners;
- Share information on your sexual history with partners;
- Get vaccinated against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV);
- Never share drug injection equipment; and
- Get tested regularly.
What do I need to bring with me to my appointment?
- Identification: All patients and support persons need to provide a photo ID. Patients will also be required to have a valid PEI Health Card.
- Information: You may also be asked about your personal health history and medications you are currently taking. If you are taking medications, bring them with you or bring an up-to-date list of your medications [PDF | 609 KB], including over the counter vitamins or supplements.
- Support Person: You can bring a support person who may accompany you to your appointment, but they may be asked to sit in the waiting area in certain circumstances. Please talk to a staff member to learn about your options.
Who can I contact for more information?
Women’s Wellness Program & Sexual Health Services
Prince County Hospital
65 Roy Boates Avenue
Summerside, PE C1N 2A9
Telephone: 1-844-365-8258 (toll-free)