Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) HIV/AIDS

STIs and HIV/AIDS are nothing to take lightly or laugh about. Many STIs are passed along through body fluids such as pre-cum, semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk, and blood. Some STIs are found on the skin and surfaces of the vagina, penis, rectum, and mouth. Direct contact with these surfaces may spread the infection. Any activity which can cause someone else’s body fluids to get into your body may put you at risk for getting a STI, including needle sharing.

Some symptoms of common STIs include:
-Unusual discharge or odour from your penis or vagina
-A painful burning feeling while urinating
-Sores or blisters on or around your mouth or sex organs
-Itching, swelling, or bumps in the groin area
Often there are no symptoms at all! If you choose to have sex, use a condom every time to reduce the risk of contracting STIs. Carrying a condom doesn’t mean you’re pushy, easy, or overly sure of yourself, it just means that you’re being smart.

HIV is spreading rapidly in teens because many people ignore the facts or believe false ideas about AIDS and other STIs. For example, you can’t be exposed by:
-Casual contact (hugging, shaking hands, etc.)
-Contact with doorknobs and/or toilet seats
-Donating Blood

Here’s how to limit exposure to HIV/AIDS and STIs:
-Not having sex (abstinence)
-If you have sex, properly using a latex condom makes contact much safer, although it doesn’t guarantee protection
-If you use drugs, don’t share needles
-Don’t share items that may be contaminated with blood

It is true that choosing to be sexually active or to use drugs can cause serious consequences in your life, no matter what precautions you might be taking. If that’s the choice you’ve made, then take responsibility to be protected as possible.

Telehealth Ontario
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/telehealth

Confidential telephone service * Registered Nurses provide advice on symptoms, treatment and health care * general health information * referral to community services * no Ontario Health Insurance required * program of Ontario, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Regional HIV/AIDS Connection
http://www.hivaidsconnection.ca

Practical support, counselling services and programming for people living with and affected by issues related to HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C

Education about safer sex and ways to prevent getting or giving HIV * stigma and discrimination with respect to living with HIV as well as homosexuality * testing for HIV and Hepatitis C * issues related to telling (disclosing) HIV status

Counterpoint Needle Syringe Program and Mobile Delivery Service – Provides new injection and safer inhalation equipment, disposal of used equipment, Naloxone training to prevent overdoses, education and information on safe injection or inhalation practices and referrals to community support services * case management services offer support for individuals contemplating changing, reducing or stopping substance use * safer sex supplies and education also available * dispenses free naloxone take-home kits – lifesaving medication that can restore breathing of a person who has overdosed on heroin or prescription opioid medication 

HIV Support Services – Ongoing counselling and support to people living with, affected by, and at-risk for HIV/AIDS

John Gordon Home – Palliative, respite and transitional health care services for those with HIV/AIDS/HCV in a home-like environment * services include case planning, social and recreational support, nutritional services, house keeping, and community coordination

Open Closet – Drop-in social support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, two-spirit, queer and questioning (LGBTQ2+) youth between the ages of 14 and 18

Ontario. Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
http://www.toronto.ca/health/sexualhealth/aids_hotline.htm

Anonymous and non-judgmental counselling * referrals to clinics and community agencies * crisis intervention * administered through Toronto Public Health (see separate entry)

AIDS and Sexual Health Infoline — current information and support on HIV/AIDS, counselling and referral to Point of Care HIV Rapid Test sites, pre-test and post-test options, safer sex, risk assessment, sexually transmitted diseases, birth control options, emergency contraception, sexuality, relationship concerns, pregnancy and options, sexual orientation

The Mainline 1-800-686-7544 — current information and support on issues related to harm reduction, injection drug use and needle exchange programs

Huron County HIV/AIDS Network
http://www.huroncountyhiv.ca

Volunteer agency * support and advocacy for HIV positive individuals and their families * education for teens and adults about harm reduction and transmission

Perth District Health Unit
http://www.pdhu.on.ca

* Health Connection is a free drop-in service
* Provides information about birth control options
* Low cost control, pregnancy testing and options counselling
* HIV testing
* STI testing and treatment
* Safer injection and safer smoking supplies
* Public Health Nurse is on site to provide counselling and education about sexual health issues
* No Health Card is required

Perth District Health Unit
http://www.pdhu.on.ca

Free drop-in service providing:
* information about birth control options
* low cost birth control
* HIV testing
* STI testing and treatment
* pregnancy tests and options counselling
* safer injection and safer smoking supplies
* Public Health Nurse on site to provide counselling and education about sexual health issues

Perth District Health Unit
http://www.pdhu.on.ca

* Provides counselling about birth control options
* Low cost and free birth control
* Pap testing
* Pregnancy testing & options
* HIV testing
* STI testing
* Free treatment
* Safer injection and safer smoking supplies
* Nurse Practitioner is on site during some clinic hours
* Health Card is required for some tests

Perth District Health Unit
http://www.pdhu.on.ca

Free service * provides counselling about birth control options * low cost and free birth control * pap testing * pregnancy testing and options counselling * HIV testing, STI testing and free treatment * Nurse Practitioner is on site during most clinic hours * Health Card is required for some tests

Perth District Health Unit
http://www.pdhu.on.ca

* Provide counselling about birth control options
* Low cost and free birth control
* Pap testing
* Pregnancy testing & options counselling
* HIV testing
* STI testing and treatment
* Safer injection and safer smoking supplies
* Physician or Nurse Practioner is on site during some clinic hours
* Health Card is required for some tests

Huron County Health Unit
http://www.huronhealthunit.ca/clinics-and-classes/clinics/

Drop-in clinic with public health nurse able to provide low cost birth control, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing and counselling, STI testing and treatment and referrals

Also provides doctor-led clinics available once a month, by appointment only * clinic also in Wingham, see separate entry for details

Perth District Health Unit
http://www.pdhu.on.ca

The Perth District Health Unit works in partnership with the community to foster conditions in which people can be healthy * promote health, protect health, and prevent disease by providing community health services and programs for Perth County

Services include: prenatal classes * stop smoking help * sexual health clinics * immunization * communicable disease investigations and outbreak control * food safety inspections * rabies investigations * safe drinking water measures