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What if I test positive?

If you have found out that you have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), you are not alone. STIs are common, and can be treated or managed with follow-up care.

Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV and hepatitis C are all reportable STIs.  This means that positive test results are shared with public health. This helps to ensure that you and your partner(s) get the proper support and treatment​.

A nurse at the BC Centre for Disease Control will contact you.

A nurse from BCCDC STI clinic will:​​

  • explain your test results to you.
  • offer options for treatment.
  • answer any questions you have, and refer you to services and resources that can further support you.
  • ask you about sexual partners and talk with you about how to let them know to get testing and treatment.

You will be given treatment options.

Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis: These STIs are all cured with antibiotics. It is important that you do not have oral, vaginal or anal sex until you and your partners have finished taking all of the medication. If you or your partners miss pills or have sex before you have finished your treatment, there is a chance that you can still pass the infection. If this happens, talk with your health care provider who will help you to decide if you need further treatment.

HIV: HIV is managed with anti-viral medications which help keep the virus count low in the blood. HIV cannot be cured, but medication helps people stay healthy.  A health care provider will talk with you about what treatment options are best for you.  

Hepatitis C: Hepatitis C is treated and usually cured with medication.  A health care provider will talk to you about treatment options.

Sexual partners are encouraged to get tested and treated.

 If you have ​an STI, it is recommended that your partners be told to get tested and treated.  A BCCDC STI nurse will offer ways to notify your partner(s).  You can: 

  1. Tell your partner(s) yourself.

  2. Have a BCCDC STI nurse tell your partner(s), or connect you with health care provider in your region. Your name will not be used.

Your results are stored in secure databases.

Your personal health information is kept within secure databases at the Provincial Health Services Authority.  Test results are also kept in a provincial laboratory system called the Provincial Laboratory Information Solution (PLIS), where a code is used instead of your name.  Health care providers who are not providing you with care will not be able to access your records.​​​​


Have Questions?

You can contact us if you have any questions. For more information about sexual health and STIs, visit SmartSexResource.

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Preventing STIs

It is a good idea to be tested regularly for STIs, especially if you have new or casual sexual partners. Being informed, communicating with partners, and using safer sex practices are ways to help improve your sexual health.

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Your Privacy

Your privacy is important to us. Any personal information collected is protected and described in our Privacy Policy.

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Other Resources

Need more information or someone to talk to? There are lots of online resources and local services that can help.

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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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