Getting Tested

Many of us saw pictures of advanced sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in our high school sex ed classes, probably to “scare” us and keep us from having sex. Aside from being fear-based and shaming of people who have STIs, it was also really misleading: the most common symptom of an STI is no symptoms at all. Getting tested is the only way to really find out what’s going on. Finding out our STI status gives us the information to make decisions about treatment, prevention, and disclosing to partners.

Many of us have a testing routine (before each new partner, or every 3-6 months) and do regular self-exams (using a mirror to check your genitals for rashes or bumps) in order to make sure we have the most up-to-date information. You can get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea (urine test), as well as HIV and syphilis (blood tests), and have a nurse look at any lumps, bumps, or warts. Testing is free, confidential, and drop-in. You don’t need an appointment or a health card.

Locations and hours:

Location

Address

Drop-In Hours

ACCKWA

519-570-3687

639 King St. W., Kitchener
Unit 203 on 2nd floor
* not wheelchair accessible

Thursdays 4-7 pm

Waterloo Public Health

519-883-2267

99 Regina St. S., Waterloo

2nd floor

Tuesdays 11:30-3:30

Thursdays 2:30-6:30

* can call at 8:30 am for same-day appointments

Cambridge Public Health

519-883-2267

150 Main St., Cambridge

1st floor, rear of building

Tuesdays 1:30-6

* can call at 8:30 am for same-day appointments

Downtown Community Centre *youth only

519-883-2267

35-B Weber St. W., Kitchener

Upstairs, past pool table

Wednesdays 3:30-6:30

Cambridge YMCA Teen Drop-In Zone *youth only

519-883-2267

258 Hespeler Rd., Cambridge

Wednesdays 3:30-6:30

You can also book an appointment with your family doctor or at a walk-in clinic.

If you test positive for an STI, you are not alone. Do not accept any shame or blame feelings from anyone - STIs are extremely common, it’s just that nobody talks about them because of stigma (which just creates more stigma). It might take a while to process your feelings: you might be in denial, feel angry, feel hurt or disappointed, you might feel scared or ashamed. All of those feelings are normal. Please trust us when we say that we encounter so many people who have felt the same way once they learned they had an STI. Many STIs can be cured, and the rest can be treated so that you can still have fun, safer sex.

Text us anonymously at 519-569-9521 if you have any questions about going for testing, symptoms that are worrying you, or for tips on how to disclose to partner(s) about an STI.