URL: http://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/sujets/prob_sante/itss/index.php?questions-about-screening-tests


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Questions about screening tests

  1. What are STI screening tests?
  2. When should I ask for an STI screening test?
  3. What are the different types of STI tests?
  4. Who can tell me about STI screening tests and where can I go to have one?
  5. What are SIDEPs (Services intégrés de dépistage et de prévention des ITSS)?
  6. What should I do if the results of my STI screening tests are positive?
  7. What should I do if the results of my STI screening test are negative?

What are STI screening tests?

STI screening tests are done by a professional authorized by the health and social services network. The test detects STIs in people who have no symptoms. Generally these tests are done by taking samples of blood, genital secretions or urine. Some infections, such as herpes or genital warts, cannot be detected by screening tests.

For more information, consult our brochures:
Open your eyes - Be aware! STI and HIV screening concerns all of us! Ce lien ouvre une nouvelle fenêtre.
STD: Be Aware and Beware! Ce lien ouvre une nouvelle fenêtre.
HIV is still around Ce lien ouvre une nouvelle fenêtre.
Having a baby or thinking about it... What about AIDS? Ce lien ouvre une nouvelle fenêtre.

When should I ask for an STI screening test?

It's a good idea to ask for screening tests for sexually transmitted infections after having risky sex — that is, without using a condom — or after sharing a syringe or injection equipment. You can also ask for a test if you and your partner form a stable couple and want to stop using condoms, or if you are a woman and plan to become pregnant.

For other reasons to have screening tests see our brochure
Open your eyes - Be aware! STI and HIV screening concerns all of us! Ce lien ouvre une nouvelle fenêtre.
HIV is still around Ce lien ouvre une nouvelle fenêtre.

     

What are the different types of STI tests?

Nominal test: type of test that applies to a screening for an STI for which nominal data (name, health insurance number, other) appear on the form used to request the test. Test results are kept in the person’s file and are subject to the confidentiality rules that govern information included in a file.

Non-nominal test: type of test that applies to a screening for an STI for which no nominal data appear on the form used to request the test. Health professionals enter a code on the form which enables them to know who the result is for. Only the health professional and the person for whom the test is requested know the code. Test results are kept in the person’s file and are subject to the confidentiality rules that govern information included in a file.

Anonymous test: type of test used for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) screening. The person does not need to be identified to have this test. A code is entered on the form used to request the test and on the record used exclusively by the health professional. A person for whom an anonymous test is requested and who would like to know the test results has to provide the code known only to him or her. Consequently, no one else can be linked to the code indicated on the form used to request the test. Only SIDEPs (Services intégrés de dépistage et de prévention des ITSS) offer this type of HIV testing.

When test results are positive, the person is referred to the health network for medical follow-up, which cannot be provided anonymously.

Who can tell me about STI screening tests and where can I go to have one?

You can find out about STI screening tests from a doctor, or by phoning Info-Santé 811. CLSCs, SIDEPs (Service intégré de dépistage et de prévention des infections transmissibles sexuellement et par le sang), and a number of medical clinics offer onsite STI screening tests.

Consult the STI screening tests centres: list by region ( SIDEP ) Services intégrés de dépistage et de prévention des ITSS

What are SIDEPs (Services intégrés de dépistage et de prévention des ITSS)?

SIDEPs—or integrated STI screening and prevention centres—are a group of services offered by health professionals in CLSCs that integrate STI screening and prevention services for targeted clienteles. During a meeting with a client, complementary services can be offered such as hepatitis A and B vaccination and possible referrals for follow-up in different resources that may meet the individual’s specific needs. SIDEPs are designed primarily for vulnerable at-risk populations who are contacted wherever they are found. These groups include men who have sex with men (MSM), injection drug users (IDU), street youth, sex workers and their clients, people who are or have been incarcerated, Aboriginal people, individuals who have multiple sex partners, women who are victims of violence and young people in difficulty.

What should I do if the results of my STI screening tests are positive?

If your STI screening test result is positive, you should be under the care of a doctor, who will inform you of the nature of the infection contracted (chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, etc.), the treatments for this infection, and possible complications. The doctor will also inform you about preventive measures to take to limit the spread of the infection.

Moreover, you will be encouraged to adopt and keep up safe sex practices and safe ways of using drugs — that is to say, using condoms and avoiding sharing syringes and injection equipment. If you are a pregnant woman or a woman of child-bearing age and your STI screening test result is positive, you should be informed about the risk of transmitting the infection to a newborn baby.

What should I do if the results of my STI screening tests are negative?

If your STI screening tests results are positive, you should ask the professional who tested you about the limits of the significance of the test results. For example, the test cannot detect HIV if the infection has occurred recently. The professional may suggest another appointment to administer a new test. So that your test results remain negative, you should adopt or keep up safe sex practices and safe ways of using drugs, that is to say, use condoms, and avoid sharing syringes and injection equipment.