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STI/STD Testing: Why it’s important & where to go

Depending on your age, grade, and/or many other factors, you may have heard the acronyms “STI” and “STD” but are unsure of what they mean. An STI stands for a Sexually Transmitted Infection, whereas an STD is a Sexually Transmitted Disease. Did you know that in 2016, 1,583 chlamydia cases* were reported in the Waterloo Region? STIs and STDs are different in the sense that infections have not evolved into diseases and therefore can be treated and cured with medication. While STDs can also be treated with medication, they cannot be cured and can shorten an individual’s lifespan.

Prior to and following being sexually active with a new partner, it is important to get tested for STIs/STDs and ask your partner to do the same. Why is this so critical? An individual can have an infection without knowing due to the fact that the most common symptom is none at all! Without proper treatment, an infection can develop into a disease. The sooner an infection is diagnosed, the faster it can be treated and cured.

Our Centre is committed to resourcing you with accurate information to help you make relational and sexual health choices that will keep you safe. Below are two locations in the Cambridge area where an individual can obtain free and confidential STI testing services.

Cambridge YMCA – Teen Drop-in Zone

258 Hespeler Road; 519.883.2267; Drop In: Wednesdays at 3:30 – 6:30 pm

Public Health

150 Main Street, 1st Floor (rear of building); 519.883.2267; Drop In: Tuesdays at 1:30 pm – 6 pm; By Appointment: Tuesdays at 10 am – 1 pm, Wednesdays at 12 – 4 pm

For more information about Sexually Transmitted Infections and Diseases in Canada, please visit the following link:

*Statistic found on page 52 of the Infectious Diseases in Waterloo Region: Surveillance Report 2016

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