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Media Release: HPEPH launching STI Quick Test Clinics at all public health offices  

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/July 28, 2022

If you are sexually active, getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Routine STI testing is important because many people may have an STI and not have any symptoms. If a person does not know they have an STI they may pass it on to their sexual partner(s). They may also be at risk of developing complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease and/or infertility.

“Our case investigations show that many people are carrying undiagnosed STIs, and spreading them without knowing it,” says Stephanie McFaul, Clinical Services Program Manager at HPEPH. “Being sexually healthy starts with knowing your risk. Since many STIs have no symptoms, the only way to know if you are infected is to get tested.”

While individuals are encouraged to contact their own health care provider for STI testing, this may not be an option for everyone. In response, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) has launched STI Quick Test Clinics to provide easy-access testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea at all office locations. Beginning in August, individuals can drop in during STI Quick Test Clinic hours, fill out a form (bring your health card if you have one) and provide a self-collected sample (pee in a cup and/or throat swab and/or rectal swab) –  no appointment necessary.

“No news is good news,” says McFaul. “Public Health Nurses will only follow-up and contact people who test positive to arrange treatment and ensure contact tracing is completed.”

People who believe they may have an STI and are experiencing symptoms such as burning when they pee, abnormal discharge, pelvic or testicular pain, should seek assessment and testing from a medical professional. There will not be a health care provider at the STI Quick Test Clinic and individuals with symptoms will not get a diagnosis or treatment at the time of the test.

HPEPH STI Quick Test Clinics:

Belleville HPEPH Office, 179 North Park Street
Mondays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with the exception of stat holidays)

Trenton HPEPH Office, West End Plaza, 499 Dundas St. West
1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month from 9 a.m.- 12 p.m., 1 – 3 p.m. (closed over the lunch hour)

Bancroft HPEPH Office, 1P Manor Lane – Professional Services Building
2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month from 9 a.m.- 12 p.m., 1 – 3 p.m. (closed over the lunch hour)

Picton HPEPH Clinic, 35 Bridge St.
2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month from 9 a.m.- 12 p.m., 1 – 3 p.m. (closed over the lunch hour)

While the test itself will only take a few minutes, wait time will vary depending on the volume of clients. Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 must delay their visit until they are feeling better and have completed isolation requirements.

For more information about STIs or about the screening clinics, visit our website or call the HPEPH Sexual Health Team at 613-966-5500, extension 243.

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Media Contacts:

Maureen Hyland, Communications Specialist
mhyland@hpeph.ca

Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist
etubbs@hpeph.ca  

About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is a public health agency that serves the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward from four local offices. HPEPH is situated and provides services on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee people. We monitor the health of our local population, deliver programs and services within our communities, and help develop healthy public policies. We provide information and support in many areas to help improve the health and well-being of our residents. Together with our communities, we help people become as healthy as they can be. For more information, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

Symptoms or exposure? Visit www.ontario.ca/exposed for the most up to date information about what to do.

For the most up to date information on current provincial restrictions, visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures.

The Ministry of Health has launched a new toll-free line as an additional resource to help answer questions from the public regarding evolving COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance. The line can be reached at 1-888-777-0730, and is available from 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week.

COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

Appointments for individuals 5+ can be booked through the provincial vaccine booking site, or by calling 1-833-943-3900 from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.  Visit the HPEPH vaccine booking web page for details.