FAQ

STI Testing

  • We will give you a registration form with a number. You will only be called by this number.
  • You will also fill out a quick assessment form that will be reviewed by a health care provider.
  • Please do not urinate during an hour before being seen, as we may need your urine sample for testing. 
  • You do not need to fast for the blood work.

A clinic staff (a doctor, nurse, or nurse practitioner) will ask you about your general and sexual health. This assessment may include questions about your symptoms, sexual contact, and use of medications and other substances. 

Based on this assessment, the doctor, nurse, or nurse practitioner will discuss with you what tests you need.

The STI tests might include:

  • Urine test
  • Blood test
  • Swabs from your penis, throat, and/or anus
  • A swab of a lesion, ulcer, or sore (if you have one)
  • A visual exam of the genital area

Here’s a bit more about each type of test:

  1. Swabs: A cotton swab is wiped over the parts of the body where you may have an infection. These areas can include the penis, throat or rectum. Taking the swab may be slightly uncomfortable, but should not be painful. If you have any lesions, ulcers, or sores in the genital area, the doctor or nurse practitioner might swab these as well.
  2. Urine test: It is important not to have urinated during an hour before providing a urine sample. The sample is tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea.
  3. Blood test: You do not need to fast for the blood work. The sample is used to test for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis.

The doctor, nurse, or nurse practitioner will discuss with you which tests you may need. We can test for:

  • Chlamydia & Gonorrhea: are tested in your urine, or using a swab from you penis, throat, or anus. 
  • HIV & Syphilis are tested in your blood sample. 
  • Genital herpes: the doctor or nurse practitioner may be able to diagnose genital herpes by looking at the affected area (for example, a lesion, sore, ulcer, or blister). They may also take a swab from a blister or sore to help confirm this diagnosis. We do NOT offer a blood test for herpes. 
  • Genital warts: diagnosis involves a doctor or nurse practitioner examining the affected area. 

Testing is recommended every 3-6 months if you have multiple sexual partners, or when you have new sexual partner, or if you have been in contact with someone who have been diagnosed with an STI. The timeframe for testing after sexual contact is:

  • Chlamydia & Gonorrhea: can be tested any time after the sexual contact.
  • Syphilis: can take 4 to 6 weeks to show in your blood.
  • HIV: can take up to 12 weeks to show in your blood.
  • Genital herpes: usually appear 6 to 21 days after the sexual contact. We only test if there is a lesion. We do NOT offer a blood test for herpes.
  • Genital warts: may take 2 to 3 months, even years, to appear after the sexual contact. We can only diagnose if there is a lesion.

All samples are sent to a laboratory for testing. It can take 1 to 2 weeks for us to receive all the results. 

We will call you ONLY if there is an infection or if a follow-up is needed.

If you want to access your results, please visits us during our clinic hours (Thursdays 5 to 8PM).

If you have any questions about your results, please call us at the main Sexual Health Clinic at 613-234-4641.

If you test positive for any STI, we will call and inform you of the positive test result, and ask you to return to clinic if a follow-up is needed.

STIs can be treated as follows:

  • Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. Azithromycin or Doxycycline are most commonly used. Different medications are available if you are allergic to both medications.
  • Gonorrhea: is treated with antibiotics. The treatment usually involves Azithromycin and Ceftriaxone. Different treatment options are available if you have allergies to these medications.
  • HIV: is managed with antiretroviral medications. If you test positive for HIV, we will refer you to an HIV specialist to help manage your health.
  • Syphilis: is treated with an antibiotic injection of penicillin (Bicillin). Different medications are available if you are allergic to Penicillin.
  • Genital herpes: is treated with antiviral medications. There is no cure for herpes, but the medications can help symptoms go away more quickly.
  • Genital warts: the treatment depends on the assessment. You may be treated in clinic with liquid nitrogen, or referred to a specialist if needed.

Behind The Scene

Sometimes we skip months when attendance is likely to be low (like December, and the summer months). Sometimes we take BTS to different locations. Check out our website, or MAX’s Facebook event page to stay in the loop.

Get in touch with us at info@maxottawa.ca!

Book Club

The title and author of the book is announced on our website gayzonegaie.ca and on the GayZone Facebook page.

Yes. You can suggest and/or recommend us other GBTQ2+ themed books.

Mental Health Connections

While our navigation service is free of charge, fees can vary among mental health service providers. We will work with you to locate services that work with your budget and/or your insurance provider.

Ask Gay Zone staff about our mental health navigation service. You can also book an appointment by email, phone, or by filling out a self-referral form. For more information, please feel free to call or email us: 613-440-3237 or info@maxottawa.ca 

 

This service is provided through MAX Ottawa, and is available through the week at their office at 251 Bank Street on the 5th floor. Mental health navigation is also available in Barrhaven, Orleans, and Kanata on a monthly basis. Let us know if one of our suburban sites works better for you.

If you’re interested in exploring mental health services, but you can’t make it to Gay Zone, fill out a self-referral form and someone will get back to you to make an appointment. You can also get in touch by phone or email: 613-440-3237 or info@maxottawa.ca

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

The NA meeting is an open group every (2nd or 3rd) Thursday of the month. Non-members can join and learn about NA on these Thursdays. This gives non-members an opportunity to provide support to someone they know from the group. The meetings are closed to members only on other Thursdays.

Yoga

Yes. You can sign-up the in-take form at the clinic before yoga starts. Let the person know that you are attending yoga, so that they will expect you after the yoga sessions.
Yes. You can sign-up the in-take form at the clinic before yoga starts. Let the person know that you are attending yoga, so that they will expect you after the yoga sessions.

Gay Men’s Yoga is free!

Hours of Operation

Gay Zone is open on Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

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