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Feeling Worried?

STI testing is a quick and easy thing to do to take care of your sexual health. But it can also bring up feelings of anxiety about testing. The biggest worry for many people is ‘What will happen if I have an STI?’ You may worry about how to tell your sex partners that they need to get tested. You may worry that you have HIV, and how that would change your life. Sometimes you might find this worry interfering with your day-to-day life.

Here are some suggestions to help you get through the time until you get your test results. You can find more information on our Resources page. 

  • Get support.  Find someone that you can talk to. A family member or trusted friend might be options for you. You may prefer to call a crisis line to talk with someone you do not know. There are also support groups that deal with specific STIs. It can help to talk with other people who are coping with some of the same issues.

  • Get help. Sometimes it may be important to connect with a professional who can help you in ways that friends and family can’t. A health care provider, counsellor, support group, and other services are places to get help, share your feelings and create a plan for your health care.

  • Get information.  Most STIs are curable and others can be managed with medications. Talk with a health care provider about your treatment options. There are also websites with good information about STIs, treatments and places to get help.

  • Use stress management techniques.  Breathing exercises and thought-stopping are two simple and quick techniques that can help lower anxiety. Anxie​tyBC has some general self-help strategies that you might find useful.

What about HIV?

Many people fear getting HIV or passing HIV on to a partner. One way to lessen anxiety about HIV is to test regularly and to practice safer sex. It also helps to learn more about HIV and how it is passed between people.

There have been many improvements in HIV medications that make HIV a manageable infection. Many people in Canada who have HIV can live long, healthy lives and continue to be sexually active while practicing safer sex.

It is common for people to need information and support when they find out they are HIV positive.  There are a number of organizations that provide services and support to people with HIV. These organizations can help you if you are feeling worried you might have HIV, have just been diagnosed or have questions living with HIV.  Learn more about HIV-related resources that are available.​

Have Questions?

If you can't find answers here, you can ask your questions online at SmartSexResource. A sexual health nurse is available to answer your questions through the website or private chat.

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Having Safer Sex

Using condoms and other kinds of protection is a very effective way to prevent STIs. Spice up your safer sex life. Use protection and learn how to talk about safer sex with partners

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Your Privacy

Your privacy is important to us. Any personal information collected by this online service is protected by our privacy policy and provincial privacy legislation.

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Other Resources

Need more information or someone to talk to? There are lots of online resources and local services that deal with sexual health and STIs.

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PHSA improves the health of British Columbians by seeking province-wide solutions to specialized health care needs in collaboration with BC health authorities and other partners. Learn more about our agencies & services.

Copyright 2016 BC Centre for Disease Control. All rights reserved.

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