The screening test for sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI) allows you to know your status, to have access to treatment if necessary and thus limit the consequences that this could have on your health. Since STBBIs are mostly asymptomatic (have no symptoms), it is important to have screening tests before stopping condom use or for any of the other reasons listed below.
Why take a screening test?
There are several reasons for having a screening test, including taking care of your health and avoiding transmitting an STBBI to your partner or simply because:
You want to have unprotected sex in the following cases:
- You are in a stable relationship and you want to stop using a condom;
- You plan to be pregnant;
- Your partner or one of your partners has or had an STBBI
You have had risky behavior such as:
- Unprotected sex;
- Sharing of injection (syringe) or inhalation equipment (pipe, straw, etc.)
- Contact with bodily fluids (blood, semen, pre-cum, vaginal fluid, and rectal fluid);
- Sharing sex toys without protection;
- Hand-crafted tattoos or piercings;
- Sharing of hygiene equipment: razor, nail clippers, toothbrush, etc.
You are one of the groups with higher infection rates such as:
- Men who have had sexual and emotional relations with other men (HARASAH);
- Injection and inhalable drug users (IDU);
- Sex workers and their clients;
- Young people under 25 and young people in difficulty;
- People who are or have been in prison settings;
- People from an indigenous community;
- People who come from a country where HIV is more prevalent than in Canada.
How often should I get tested?
In general, as soon as a person begins to have sex, it is recommended to undergo a screening test at least once a year. Depending on the person’s situation and risky behavior, a doctor may strongly suggest that he increase the frequency of screenings. So if you are a person considered “more at risk” because of the various factors mentioned above, do not hesitate to seek advice from a professional, health professional. The at home std test canada solutions are there as well.
An HIV test lets you know whether or not you have been infected with HIV. After infection with HIV, the body produces antibodies. These antibodies can often already be detected in the blood within six weeks and with certainty no more than three months after infection. For the HIV test to be reliable, it’s best to wait at least six weeks for it if you’ve taken a risk or even three months for some tests. See a doctor to see if you can get tested after six weeks.
The test proceeds as follows:
- The doctor will take a blood sample from you and send it to a laboratory for analysis.
- The lab tests your blood for antibodies and virus constituents.
- The doctor receives the test result from the lab about a week later.
- The doctor explains the result to you and discusses the next steps with you.
If you don’t want to wait a week for the test results, you have the option of taking a quick test. This test gives a faster result, but it is not as accurate. A rapid test can only tell three months after taking a risk whether or not you have been infected with HIV.