A service provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control



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.

Clinics and Services (47)

Hello ,the STI testing and treatment is free just for Canadian Citizens , How much is the cost for someone with a valid work permit ?

Hi, thanks for your question. You can get free testing at the Bute street clinic if you have a work permit. Its a drop in clinic open 11-6.30pm at 1170 Bute street ( corner of Davie street and Bute street iVancouver) The last day it is open this week is Friday. It is closed then until after New Years. The clinic reopens on January 2nd, 2018. Hope this helps. Health Nurse

Did an sti check where can i see the results


Thanks for writing.

It really depends where you got tested. Each doctor or clinic has a different way they handle results… usually people can call in, but sometimes they need to return to the clinic.

I would contact the clinic where you had your tests done and ask how you can recieve your results.

Most STI test results come back from the lab within seven to ten days. 

Please let usknow if you can provide any additional information.

Health Nurse

How do you get tested for all sti viruses as a male? Is there any tests that require swabs for males or is it all done by pee and blood?


Thanks for writing.

There are many ways to get tested for STIs. You can test for STIs with your regular doctor, at a walk-in clinic, or at an STI clinic. To find an STI clinic near you check out our Clinic Finder.

STIs are caused by both bacteria and viruses, and it’s important to get tested for everything.

Routine testing for men includes:

• HIV – blood test
• Syphilis – blood test
• Gonorrhea – Urine test
• Chlamydia – Urine test

For men who have sex with men we also recommend:

• Gonorrhea – Throat Swab
• Chlamydia – Throat swab
• Gonorrhea – Rectal swab
• Chlamydia – Rectal swab

Hope this helps. Please feel free to comment below or submit another question as needed.

Health Nurse

DOes Lifelabs test for STI include hepatitis C


Thanks for writing.

Hep C tests are usually not offered to clients unless they are at-risk for getting Hep C. Hep C is spread through blood-to-blood contact (not through sexual fluids). The primary means of Hep C transmission is through drug use, and if you answer “no” to questions about drug use you may not be screened for Hep C. You can always ask your doctor to add atest for Hep C. 

Please feel free to comment below with any additional questions.

Hope this helps,

Health Nurse


What do I need to do to get a condom from a youth clinic and how?


Thanks for writing.

Condoms are available for free at youth clinics, STI clinics, and at many major health centres. These condoms can be accessed simply by walking in and taking the condom(s).

Free condoms at clinics are usually located in a bowl near the entrance or front-desk where they can be easily picked-up by anyone visiting the clinic. If you cannot see where the condoms are located in a specific clinic just ask the front-desk person where the condoms or safe-sex supplies are located. Most staff will be happy to have someone asking about condoms, and can easily help you out.

To find a youth clinic or STI clinic near you have a look at our Clinic Finder Tool.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to submit another question as needed.

Health Nurse

What is the clinic’s policy on confidentiality?


Thanks for your question. 

Without knowing which clinic you’re asking about it’s hard for me to give an exact answer, but I can give you some general information.

All clinic visits are confidential, unless a client is at risk of being harmed, harming themselves, or harming others.

This confidentiality means that the nurse or doctor you see at a clinic cannot share any of your information with anyone else. Sometimes for medical reasons a nurse or doctor may need to consult with another healthcare professional regarding a client’s health, in which case relevant information will be shared. However, any consulting doctors will be held to same confidentiality agreement, where they cannot share the information with anyone else. 

For additional information see our page on Confidentiality.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to comment below or submit another question if needed.

Health Nurse


A doctor at a walk-in clinic diagnosed me with Molluscum contagiosum. Should I see another doctor to confirm this diagnosis of Molluscum contagiosum, I just don’t want there to be a mistake as I thought they were warts. Is it pretty easy to tell warts and Molluscum contagiosum apart. As soon as he saw them he new they were Molluscum contagiosum, so should I be worried?


Thanks for writing.

It sounds like the doctor you saw was pretty confident when diagnosing the Molluscum. Every doctor has different specialities and experiences, and if the doctor you saw doesn’t have a lot of experience with genital warts or Molluscum it’s possible that there was a miss diagnosis. However, Molluscum is very common and it would not be unusual to be diagnosed with it.

Without seeing you in person it is hard for me to confirm the diagnosis you have been given, but here is some general information:

Molluscum Contagiosum is a virus that can be passed through skin-to-skin contact. It usually appears as round bumps with a small indent in the centre of the bump (almost like a ‘donut’). Molluscum can also have a white head in the centre of the bump. Molluscum can appear anywhere on the body, including: genitals, buttocks, stomach, legs, arms, neck, face. The bumps are painless but often feel itchy.

Genital warts are also caused by a virus that is passed through skin-to-skin contact. Warts usually appear as oddly-shaped textured bumps, and are often confused with skin tags. Genital warts only appear on the genitals and do not occur on the stomach, legs, arms, neck, or face. Genital warts are painless and usually not itchy.

Generally, Molluscum Contagiosum is not dangerous, and you should not be worried. The virus can be treated (either with a light spray of liquid nitrogen or by “unroofing” the bumps), and once the virus is gone it does not stay in the body (unlike genital warts and HPV). While the bumps are present it is possible to pass the virus to another person or to other parts of your body. To lessen the chance of spreading the virus to other parts of your body it’s best to avoid shaving that area until the bumps are gone. Also, after showering/bathing it’s a good idea to use a separate towel when drying the area of your body where the bumps are, as using the same towel on all of your body can spread the bumps.

If you’d like a second opinion you can always go to an STI clinic for a consult. Check out our Clinic Finder to access an STI clinic near you.

Hope this helps! Please feel free to submit another question and/or comment below if you need more clarification.

Health Nurse

Hi, I am a UK citizen on holiday in Vancouver. I am wondering if I can still have an STI test free of charge and if so, do I need to bring anything along with me to the clinic? Thank you


Yes, we have two clinics in the Vancouver area that provide free STI/HIV testing regardless of your status in Canada. No ID or insurance is required, just bring yourself.

The provincial STI clinic at 655W 12th Ave in Vancouver, It’s best to make an appointment for this clinic by calling 604-707-5600.

The Bute street clinic is a walk in only clinic situated in QMUNITY (BC’s Queer Resource Centre) at 1170 Bute Street.

Just click on the hyperlinks on the clinic names for a map to the clinic, as well as other clinic details such as opening times and services offered.

Please leave a comment to let us know if this answers your question or if you need more information.

Health Nurse

For other readers, please feel free to leave a comment, or let us know if this was helpful.

Hello, I have been battling some kind of uti for a month. I had a three month sti test that came back negative. We tested for everything but trichomonas. The sexual encounter was protected oral BJ on me by a woman, I had a shower at her place but used a towel of hers to dry off. My symptoms ore frequent urination, no discharge, no pain and white blood cells in my urine. Should I get tested for trichomonas?

Hi, thanks for your question.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are not usually caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They both affect the genitals, but they are caused by different bacteria/viruses and need different treatment.

Trichomonas is a rare STI. Men are not typically screened for it because of this reason. If your other STI test results are negative I would consider that conclusive.

Also the sexual contact you’ve described is not likely to pass an STI or Trichomonas.

It sounds like you’re having symptoms of a UTI. I would recommend going to your doctor or a walk-in clinic and getting testing (urine culture) and treatment for a UTI. Although UTIs are less common in men than women, they can still happen.  It’s important to treat a UTI with antibiotics so that it does not spread to the kidneys.

Please leave a comment below if you need more information or clarification.

Health Nurse

Hi, do you know where they offer IUD emergency contraception?


If you’re in Vancouver you can go to the Willow Women’s Clinic, or Everywoman’s Health Centre, or Elizabeth Bagshaw Women’s Clinic.

If you live in BC (but not in Vancouver) you can go to emergencyIUD.ca and search by your city/town for a list of clinics near you that offer emergency IUD insertion. 

If you live outside BC contact a Planned Parenthood or abortion clinic near you. Or you can submit another question/comment telling us the name of your city/town and we can try to find a clinic for you.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to comment below if you need any clarification.

Health Nurse