Screening is a confidential, easy and quick way to find out if you have a sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection (STBBI).
People who have an STBBI do not always have symptoms. They can be infected and pass the infection on without being aware of it. The only way to confirm whether or not someone has an infection is by testing for STBBIs. Screening means that people who have contracted an STBBI can be treated appropriately and avoid the complications of an untreated infection.
A number of behaviours increase the risk of getting an STBBI. You should get tested if you or your partner, even if it was only once:
You should also get tested for STBBIs if:
For various reasons, STBBIs affect some population groups more than others:
If you or your partner belong to one of these groups, talk to a health professional about getting tested for STBBIs.
STBBI tests are offered and done during a consultation with a doctor or nurse. Young people who are 14 years of age or over can get tested and be treated without their parents’ permission. In fact, from age 14 on, a young person can consent to health care alone.
STBBI tests are free for anyone who has a Quebec health insurance card. However, some resources charge a fee (generally $5 or $15) for transporting biological samples to the laboratory.
Several types of resources offer STBBI testing services:
To find out the contact information for a resource that offers STBBI testing near you, ask your health professional or call Info-Santé 811.
Before you go, inquire about:
You can also ask what other services are available, for example, pregnancy tests or contraception.
At the appointment, the health professional may ask you personal questions about various subjects. For example:
Answering the health professional’s questions as honestly as possible will help them understand your situation better. They will know what infections to look for and what tests should be done. You will be free to agree or refuse to take the tests they suggest.
This is also an opportunity to ask the health professional any questions you have and to voice your concerns.
STBBI tests can be done with:
The health professional recommend the appropriate tests, according to the person’s situation. This means they may not recommend tests for all STBBIs. Furthermore, some STBBIs are only detected when there are symptoms.
A negative result generally means that the person does not have an STBBI. In some situations, the health professional might ask you to get tested again a few weeks later.
A positive result means that an STBBI has been detected. The health professional will tell you about treatment and the precautions to take to avoid spreading the infection.
You will agree on when and how to get your results with the health professional.
STBBIs are treated with medication. Medication can cure some, but not all, STBBIs. Other STBBIs remain in the infected person’s body for the rest of their life and medication is used to:
Infected people must be treated as soon as possible to prevent complications.
The information on this website by no means replaces the advice of a health professional. If you have questions regarding your health, contact Info-Santé 811 or see a health professional.