You don’t sky­dive with­out check­ing your para­chute first.

You don’t scu­ba dive with­out test­ing the oxy­gen tanks. If you have had or are hav­ing sex with­out a con­dom, you should get test­ed for STIs.

Here is where you can learn the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How for all your test­ing questions.

Should I get tested? 

You should get test­ed if:

  • You and your part­ner are plan­ning to start hav­ing sex
  • You have sex with a new partner
  • You or your part­ner have been sex­u­al­ly active and have not been tested
  • You know your cur­rent or past part­ner has an STI
  • The con­dom breaks or you have sex with­out one
  • You or your part­ner has shared nee­dles for drugs, tat­too­ing, or piercing
  • You or your part­ner has any STI symptoms
  • You have been or think you might have been forced to have sex

When you are sex­u­al­ly active, get test­ed once a year, even if you haven’t had sex for a while.

Is test­ing and treat­ment free? 

Test­ing is free for res­i­dents of Man­i­to­ba. Take your health num­bers with you if you are going to a new doc­tor, nurse prac­ti­tion­er, or nurse.

What if I don’t have my health number? 

If you don’t know or don’t have your health num­ber many clin­ics will see you any­way. If your health care provider saw you before, they should have your health num­ber on file. Call ahead or ask if you don’t have your health number.

There are two num­bers you should keep with you in case you need emer­gency or per­son­al health care. They are on your own or your parent’s Man­i­to­ba Health Reg­is­tra­tion Cer­tifi­cate. The cer­tifi­cate is a white paper card with pur­ple and red print.

  • The cer­tifi­cate has a Reg­is­tra­tion Num­ber’ that may apply to your par­ent or guardian and their children.
  • There is a Per­son­al Health I.D. No.’ that applies only to you.

Learn about get­ting a per­son­al copy of the Man­i­to­ba Health Reg­is­tra­tion Certificate

Is test­ing confidential 

Regard­less of your age, health care providers are not allowed to tell any­one about your vis­it unless they:

  • Have your permission;
  • Feel you are not able to under­stand med­ical advice or the con­se­quences of your deci­sions; or
  • Sus­pect that you’ve been abused (if you’re under 18), in which case they are required by law to report to Child and Fam­i­ly Ser­vices (CFS).

If you don’t trust the doc­tor, nurse prac­ti­tion­er, or nurse, you can leave.

What will hap­pen when I go for testing? 

Tell your health care provider what tests you are and are not com­fort­able hav­ing done. Most doc­tors, nurse prac­ti­tion­ers, and nurs­es will under­stand that it is dif­fi­cult going for sex­u­al health care the first time. Tell your health care provider if you want to have some parts of the test­ing done at a lat­er time. You might choose to have a blood test or an inter­nal exam at anoth­er appointment.

The health care provider will talk to you about con­cerns you may have, body parts (throat, vagi­na, penis, anus) that need to be exam­ined, symp­toms, and con­dom use. The health care provider will ask you to undress from the waist down and will give you a drape to cov­er yourself.

A good sex­u­al health exam­i­na­tion includes the following:

  • Exam­ine the out­side of the genitals.
  • Take a urine sample.
  • If you have had oral or anal sex, take a swab from the throat or anus.
  • Take a blood sample.
  • For male bod­ies, feel the tes­ti­cles and penis.
  • For female bod­ies, an inter­nal exam includes putting a specu­lum into the vagi­na to look inside of the vagi­na and cervix, a Pap test (they take sam­ples from the cervix to check for changes) and a biman­u­al exam (the health care provider places one or two fin­gers inside the vagi­na and their oth­er hand on the low­er abdomen in order to feel the ovaries and uterus)

If you feel more com­fort­able with some­one else in the room, whether you are male or female, you can tell the health care provider. Most male health care providers will ask a female to enter the room when they exam­ine a female’s genitals.

Remem­ber, you are the one who has asked for test­ing. You have the right to ask the health care provider to do only those things you are com­fort­able with.

Relat­ed Links