Valentine’s Day Checklist: Flowers? Check. Chocolates? Check. STI Testing?

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Offering Free STI Testing on Valentine's Day and Year-Round

As you get prepared for a big Valentine’s Day date this evening, there might be one more stop you should make on the way.

Sometimes people don’t realize the importance of getting tested…

Yen Phan, Manager of the SMDHU Sexual Health Program

Once you’ve got the card, the flowers, the chocolates, and the Barry White, swing by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s Sexual Health Clinic in Barrie for a free STI test.

“Sometimes people don’t realize the importance of getting tested, for those who are sexually active.” says Yen Phan, Manager of the Sexual Health Program, “whether they’re afraid or hesitant, health care providers are very knowledgeably, and our nurses are quite comfortable in speaking to that topic.”

Phan says the test and treatment are free through the clinic, while maintaining discretion as well. “Confidentiality is important. It is important to healthcare providers, it is important to nurses within our clinic. Clients who come in can be assured their confidentiality is important to us, and their information, from a privacy perspective, will be kept confidential.”

The first step is calling the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to book an appointment at one of the various clinics across Simcoe and Muskoka. In Barrie, a drop-in clinic is available Tuesdays and Thursdays. Outreach clinics are also operated at the David Busby Street Centre.

Clinics will draw blood to be sent away for testing, while instant HIV tests are also available. The Health Unit offers free treatment for many sexually transmitted infections, while nurses may be able to advise on ways of informing partners of positive test results.