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Answered Questions

In the years since SmartSexResource launched, we have developed a library of questions asked by you, and answered by our expert sexual health nurses.

Our answered questions library cover a broad range of sexual health topics and common questions we hear at our clinics.

All Q&A (1183)

I had unprotected sex with a women (I am a male) and was contacted by her the next day – and she informed me she had chlamydia. I immediately went to a walk-in clinic and was informed that it could take about 72 hours to show up on the current STI tests. The doctor said that since I had been exposed to Chlamydia and couldn’t get checked within the following few days-week he would treat me and then I was to go and get checked after. I was treated with 1G azithromycin approximately 36 hours after this potential exposure. My question is: was this too early to treat? (Ie. If I did contract chlamydia – was treating this too early, or would this treatment have been successful?) I also haven’t been se ally active since. Thank you

Hello and thank you for your question.

That is great that you went directly to a clinic for treatment once you were named as a contact to a case of Chlamydia.  It is true that if it was only 36 hours after the potential exposure it would have likely been too early for the Chlamydia to show up positive on an STI test as the test is checking for your body’s antibody response to the bacteria and that time interval wouldn’t have given the body enough time to build enough of an immune response to be detectable on the test.  That said, treatment is appropriate at this time as the antibiotic it will still kill off the Chlamydia bacteria.  Please hold off from having sex for 7 days after treatment as it takes that long for all of the bacteria to be killed.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

I was taking the pills for chlamydia, and i missed my 2nd pill, 2 days in a row. I still continued to take the pills. Does that mean i’m not clear. Or since i kept taking them, i’m good?

Hi there, thank you for your question

As long as you finish all 14 pills and do your best to take a pill twice a day for the remaining duration of treatment you should be fine. There will be no need to re-treat. If you are concerned, you can return to the clinic for a “test of cure” 4 weeks after you started the treatment, to make sure the infection is gone.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questionsor concerns.
Health Nurse

I had an encounter with a female sex worker in which she gave me oral sex with a condom. We did not change condoms when having vaginal sex. I did not ejaculate and stopped in the middle when common sense finally kicked in. Is this high risk behaviour for catching HIV and should I be considering going on PEP?

Hi, and thanks for your question

The risk of HIV transmission to the male partner from the type of encounter you have described is extremely low. We would not recommend HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) in this instance. In addition to the encounter being considered extremely low risk, the risk of potential side effects and harm from the PEP medication would far outweigh any potential benefit you might glean from it.

If you are interested in learning more about HIV and its transmission, you might find our HIV and AIDS information page helpful. In addition, our Know Your Chances charts give a quick breakdown of high risk and low risk transmission depending on the type of sex and the infection in question. And remember, we always recommend routine STI testing (HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea) for all sexually active adults.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

I recently got tested for HIV serology at a Lifelabs in Toronto using a requisition given to me by a doctor that did not include my name, health card info or anything identifying for that matter because we had specifically agreed that I prefer this test being anonymous. The Lifelabs I went to told me they would “forward the results to my doctor”. I called the clinic today to check if my results had come back in; they told me that the results had indeed come back though they (the front desk) do not have access to result itself (be it positive or negative) and that I would need to refer to the doctor. Is this usual? Protocol for anonymous testing?

Hi, and thank you for your question

I cannot speak specifically about the procedures set in place by your doctor or the clinic that you went to in Toronto. However, I can say that accessing test results from a doctor often requires you to book an appointment to see the doctor and go over the results in person.

Usually, when testing anonymously, there is a code or ID number assigned to the individual, which will link the results to you. If you were provided with such a code, then you will need to give it to the doctor so he/she can access the right results.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

Hi I just want to know when is the best time of the day to take a StI test?

Hello and thank you for your question. 

For most STI tests there is not a preferred time of day to do the testing.  That said, when submitting a urine sample you need to have not urinated for at least 2 hours prior to giving the sample for an STI screen.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

Can I get hiv while rubbing my genital with someone else while wearing thin clothing? The other person was also wearing underwear.

Hello, and thank you for your question.

HIV is transmitted through blood and body fluids, and cannot be passed through casual contact, skin to skin contact, or through clothing.

For more information on a variety of sexually transmitted infections please visit STIs at a Glance or for info about transmission risk check out Know your Chances.

Please let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

I went through the get checked Lab Form. I’m wondering why there is no test for Herpes. I have a small red bump at the base of the shaft of my penis. No discharge. Not painful. Not itchy. But is it not possible that this could be Herpes and if so, why is there no test on the list of suggested tests?

Hi and thank you for your questions.

Herpes is not part of the routine testing offered through Get Checked Online (GCO). 

As stated on the Get Checked Online website in the “What can I test for?” section only Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis C tests are offered.  If you would like to get tested for other kinds of STIs, you will need to visit a clinic or see your doctor.  If you are having any symptoms that are concerning you I would recommend that you to get them checked by a care provider such as a doctor or nurse at a walk-in clinic

Have a look at our Clinic Finder to locate a sexual health clinic in your area.

Please let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.

Health Nurse

I was seeing a guy for a few months and before him I didn’t have a smell. But after awhile and us sleeping together I got a fishy smell and a discharge keeps happening through the day. The smell is strong and smells like fish and the discharge happens out of no and I’m afraid people smell it on me when it happens. I don’t have a family doctor.

Hi, and thanks for your question

While it’s not possible to diagnose what is going on over the internet it sounds very much like you may have something called Bacterial Vaginosis (BV).

BV is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI) but rather an imbalance of the healthy bacteria that normally lives in the vagina. When these bacteria get out of balance, symptoms can occur. These symptoms are commonly described as a fishy odor and an increased amount of watery, thin vaginal discharge (You didn’t specify in your question, but I am assuming that you are a person with a vagina. If I have gotten that wrong, please forgive the assumption).

BV can be very easily treated with a 1-week course of an antibiotic called metronidazole. You can visit any walk-in clinic or sexual health clinic for assessment, diagnosis and treatment. I would recommend a full STI screen for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea as well as testing for BV as sometimes STIs can also cause these symptoms.

Have a look at our page on Bacterial Vaginosis for more information. To help locate a sexual health clinic in your area, you can use our Clinic Finder.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

Hello,According to several official resources a new HIV strain has been recently discovered. It’s HIV group M subtype L. Does the 4th generation tests in British Columbia catch this strain?https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/06/health/hiv-new-strain-discovered/index.html https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/health/New-HIV-Strain-564641321.html

Hi, and thanks for your question

The 4th Generation HIV test that we use for HIV testing in British Columbia is an antibody test. This means it tests for the antibody that is present in an individual’s blood when they have been exposed to the virus. These antibodies are not specific to a particular strain of HIV. Antibodies can be detected reliably 3 months or more after exposure to HIV, regardless of the strain of the virus.

If a person’s antibody test is reactive (“positive”) then they are diagnosed with an HIV infection. Once diagnosed, there is further testing done to determine which strain or sub-type of the virus the person has.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse