Get tested

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  • Tests and exams

    STI testing may involve urine samples, blood tests, an exam of your genitals, and sometimes swabs. Some tests can be done in the clinic or you may be sent to a lab. Talk to your health care provider about which tests are right for you. You can refuse any tests or exams you do not want. If you do not understand something, ask your health care provider to explain.

  • Waiting room

    Take a seat in the waiting room. Fill out your form and bring it back to the desk staff when you are done. You will be called by your first name when it’s your turn to be seen. Some people like to bring something to read or a game to play with while they wait.

  • Exam room

    The clinic staff will take you to the exam room. The typical exam room has a chair for you to sit in and an exam table. You may have to wait for a few minutes in the exam room before the health care provider arrives. You may be asked to remove some clothing in preparation for a genital exam. If required, you will be given a gown to wear.

  • Reception desk

    When you come into the clinic, check in with the person at the reception desk. This person will let you know what to do. You may be asked to fill out a form. The form usually asks for your name, contact information and reason for visit.

  • Make the call

    Call to find out if the clinic will take appointments or it is drop-in. Other things you might want to ask: • Clinic hours and location? • Is it appointment or drop-in? • What ID or insurance information do I need to bring? • Are there any STI tests the clinic does not provide? • Where can I get free testing if I am not covered by MSP?

  • Health care provider

    The health care provider will start by asking you about your sexual history to determine what kind of tests or exams you might need. To get the best care, it helps to be as honest as you can. You can ask your health care provider any questions you have. If you brought the STI testing checklist, you can use this to talk about what tests you need.

  • Getting results

    Results can take up to 10 days depending on the type of tests, and where you live in BC. Some clinics will give results by phone and others will require you to come back for results. Many offices and clinics will only call you if the tests show that you have a STI.

What to expect

In BC, testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be done at most health clinics and doctors’ offices. Not all clinics or health care providers do things exactly the same way, but the slide show above will give you a general idea of what to expect.

Does it cost anything to get STI testing?

In BC, STI testing is free in many local public health units. You can go to any doctor or clinic for free testing if you have Medical Services Plan (BC Care Card) coverage. If you don't have MSP, use the SmartSexResource Clinic Finder to look up clinics that offer free testing and other sexual health services.

What tests do I need?

It can be helpful to use an STI checklist when you talk with your health care provider about what tests you might need. Many clinics offer confidential testing for all STIs, including HIV.

Getting ready

If you are thinking of getting tested, here are some steps to help you get ready:

  1. Find a clinic or see your health care provider.
  2. Call ahead to find out clinic hours, if an appointment is needed, if you need to bring ID or your Medical Services Plan (BC Care Card) number.
  3. Look here for clinics who offer free testing, if you don't have a BC Care Card.
  4. Take the STI checklist to your appointment.
  5. Expect test results to take up to 10 days depending on where you live and what tests are done.
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