What are STIs?
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are infections that can be transmitted through sexual contact, such as oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex, or sharing sex toys. Some STIs are transmitted through fluid sharing, while others are transmitted through skin to skin contact.
You can help prevent STI transmission by using barriers such as internal and external condoms, dental dams, gloves, and more, and by getting tested. Getting tested for STIs regularly is an essential part of practicing safer sex and protecting both yourself and your partners. The most common symptom of an STI is no symptom, so the only way to know is to get tested!
How often should I get tested for STIs?
There are a variety of guidelines on how regularly STI testing should occur. We suggest you get tested at least once a year if you’re sexually active and maybe more regularly if you’re changing sexual partners often. Some people like to get tested before they start having sex with a new partner, while others prefer a once a year appointment. You should also get tested and see a doctor if you have any symptoms.
How do I make an appointment?
If you are having routine testing with no symptoms, a nurse at the McGill Student Health clinic can do a full STI test. To make an appointment with a nurse, call the McGill clinic at 514-398-6017 and specify you’d like to make an appointment with a nurse. If you have symptoms, you need to see a doctor at the Student Health drop-in clinic. For off campus options, see this list from Student Health Service.
What happens at my appointment?
STI testing is easy! You can expect both a blood sample and either a swab of the genital area or a urine sample.
Say no to stigma!
There’s a lot of negative stigma surrounding STIs. Stigma prevents people from seeking testing and treatment for STIs, as well as talking openly about diagnoses and protection. Almost all STIs are treatable, and many are curable.
Got more questions? Send us an health.promotion [at] mcgill.ca (email), send a message to Healthy McGill's Facebook, or make an appointment with a nurse at the McGill Student Health Clinic to discuss your options!