Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a major public health problem in Canada and around the world. STIs can cause serious complications such as infertility, chronic pain, cancer, and increased risk of HIV infection. STIs can also affect the health of unborn babies and newborns. STIs are preventable and treatable, but many people do not know they have them because they often do not have any symptoms. That is why testing is important to detect and treat STIs early and prevent their spread.
According to the latest report from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the rates of three common bacterial STIs - chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis - have been increasing steadily in Canada over the past decade. In 2019, there were 139,386 cases of chlamydia, 30,874 cases of gonorrhea, and 6,281 cases of infectious syphilis reported in Canada. These numbers represent a 33.1%, 181.7%, and 259.5% increase, respectively, from 2010. These trends are consistent with the global estimates from the World Health Organization, which indicate that more than 1 million people acquire an STI every day.
STIs affect people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, and backgrounds. However, some groups are more vulnerable than others. Young people under 30 years of age account for more than half of the reported cases of chlamydia (58.2%) and gonorrhea (56.3%), and almost two-fifths of the reported cases of syphilis (37.8%) in Canada. Women are more likely to have chlamydia than men (58.2% vs 41.8%), while men are more likely to have gonorrhea (64.9% vs 35.1%) and syphilis (86.3% vs 13.7%) than women. However, women’s rates of syphilis have increased dramatically by 691.5% in the past five years, compared to a 109.1% increase among men. This is especially concerning because syphilis can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth, resulting in congenital syphilis, which can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or severe birth defects.
The reasons for the rise of STIs in Canada are complex and multifactorial. Some possible factors include changes in sexual behaviours and practices, such as having multiple or concurrent partners, inconsistent or incorrect condom use, and lack of awareness or communication about STI status; social and structural determinants of health, such as stigma, discrimination, poverty, and access barriers to health services; biological factors, such as co-infections with other STIs or HIV that may increase susceptibility or transmission; and diagnostic and surveillance factors, such as improved testing methods, increased screening coverage, and enhanced case finding and reporting.
To address this public health challenge, a comprehensive and coordinated approach is needed that involves multiple sectors and stakeholders at all levels of government and society. Prevention strategies should include promoting safer sex practices, increasing awareness and education about STIs and their consequences, reducing stigma and discrimination associated with STIs, improving access to testing and treatment services, ensuring adequate supply of condoms and other prevention tools, supporting contact tracing and partner notification programs, and strengthening surveillance and monitoring systems.
One of the key components of STI prevention is testing. Testing is the only way to know for sure if you have an STI or not. Testing can help you get the right treatment if you are infected, which can cure or manage your infection and prevent complications. Testing can also help you protect your sexual partners from getting infected or re-infected by informing them about your status and encouraging them to get tested as well. Testing can also help you make informed decisions about your sexual health and well-being.
However, many people face barriers to accessing testing services for various reasons, such as lack of time, convenience, privacy, or affordability; fear of stigma, judgment, or discrimination; or lack of knowledge or awareness about testing options. That is why TeleTest.ca was created: to provide a simple, fast, and private way to get tested for common STIs online.
TeleTest.ca is an Ontario-based online healthcare platform that allows you to skip the walk-in clinic and get testing at a nearby lab or prescriptions at your local pharmacy. TeleTest.ca works with licensed physicians who can provide you with a lab referral or a medication prescription based on your needs. TeleTest.ca offers testing and treatment for STIs, as well as other conditions such as urinary tract infections, yeast infections, acne, hair loss, and more. TeleTest.ca is safe, secure, and confidential, and it can save you time and money. TeleTest.ca accepts visitors to Canada and individuals without Ontario Health Insurance.
To use TeleTest.ca, all you have to do is order online, choose your location, get testing or treatment, and check your results. You can also message a physician anytime if you have any questions or concerns. TeleTest.ca is currently only available in Ontario, Canada.
If you are sexually active, you should get tested regularly for STIs, even if you do not have any symptoms or signs. The frequency of testing depends on your level of risk, which is determined by factors such as your number and type of sexual partners, your sexual practices, your condom use, and your history of STIs. As a general guideline, the Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that you get tested at least once a year if you are sexually active; more often if you have multiple or new partners, or if you or your partner have symptoms of an STI.
STIs are a serious public health issue in Canada and globally. They can have negative impacts on your health and the health of others. But they can be prevented and treated. Testing is an essential part of STI prevention. Testing can help you know your status, get the care you need, and protect yourself and your partners. Testing can also help stop the spread of STIs in your community.
Don’t wait. Get tested today with TeleTest.ca. It’s simple, fast, and private.