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STIs are infections passed from one person to another during unprotected (no condom) sexual activity. Vaginal and/or anal intercourse, without using a condom, are the most risky type of activities for transmitting STIs but some infections can be passed just by touching or kissing an infected area.

Latex condoms are the best way to protect yourself against STIs.

In Canada some of the highest rates and increase in STIs are in young people ages 15 to 24. If you are having sex, or thinking about having sex, you need to know how to avoid sexually transmitted infections.  

Sexual Health Services

Testing for STIs, including HIV, is available through our Sexual Health program. Check here for more information about our Sexual Health Clinics.

Public Health Nurses are also available by phone to answer your questions. Call 519-271-7600 ext 779 or toll free at 1-877-271-7348 ext 779 to speak confidentially with a Nurse about your concerns.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

It is important to know about STIs, their symptoms, how they are passed and how to prevent them. Click on the links below to learn about them:

How do I protect myself from STIs?

The best and easiest way to protect yourself from STIs is to use either a male condom or a female condom. You can also use dental dams and condoms for protection during oral sex.

Currently, there are two vaccinations which provide protection against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

How do I protect myself?
It’s your responsibility to protect yourself.  Here are a few pointers to help:
  • Correctly and consistently use a condom if having vaginal and/or anal intercourse. Latex condoms are the best defense against STIs.
  • Protection is available for oral sex. For men, wearing a condom while receiving oral sex can help prevent the transmission of STIs. Women can use a sheet of latex called a dental dam to protect themselves and their partner while receiving oral sex.
  • Keeping yourself free of other STIs decreases your risk of becoming infected with HIV.
  • Have regular check-ups to screen for STIs, especially if you are with a new partner.
  • Make sure you know the common symptoms of STIs. Inform your doctor immediately if you notice any signs. Remember though, many STIs will not have symptoms so testing is still important.
  • Avoid douching because it removes some of the normal protective bacteria in the vagina and increases the risk of getting some STIs.
    Never share needles.
  • Limit the number of sexual parters you have.


For more information please contact
Health Line at 519-271-7600 ext 267 or
toll-free at 1-877-271-7348 ext 267.