What types of services do sexual health clinics offer?
Most clinics offer these services:
- Birth control counselling and prescriptions (sometimes sell them cheaper than pharmacies)
- Info on STIs including STI testing and treatment
- Pregnancy testing
- Emergency birth control (morning-after pill)
- Anonymous HIV/AIDS testing
- Hepatitis A and B, and HPV vaccines
- Needle exchange services (trade in used ones for new ones, free)
- Hepatitis A and B vaccines
Everyone, no matter what gender, race, or sexual-orientation, can use these services and many clinics are wheelchair accessible. Depending on what clinic, you can make an appointment or check for walk-in hours.
NOTE: Check the website of the clinic first to see what their walk-in policy is and if you need to make an appointment. There can be long wait times at some clinics.
I’m not 18 yet, do I need permission from my parents to go to a clinic?
No, you don’t need permission to visit a clinic. Everything, including STI tests, remains confidential. See a list of sexual health clinics in your area for walk-in instructions or to book an appointment.
Does my family need to find out I visited a clinic?
Sexual health clinics are confidential. Staff are required (by law) not to tell anyone anything you don’t want them to know, and that includes keeping your information private from your family or anyone else who knows you personally.
However, if a healthcare professional believes you are being abused and you are under the age of 16, they have a duty to report it so that you get help and support.
I’m too embarrassed to be examined by a doctor!
It’s natural and okay to feel that. Sexual health clinic doctors and nurses are non-judgmental and inclusive. This means no matter what their personal beliefs are, they are trained to be open to your concerns. Lots of clinics will also let you choose the gender of the doctor you will meet. You can tell them if this is your first time at a clinic or if you are nervous about the appointment, and they will know to be more accommodating.
Is there a sexual health clinic near me?
There are many sexual health clinics to choose from across Ontario. Although there are no clinics exclusively for newcomer youth, most clinics are youth-friendly. Some clinics even offer services in different languages and are sensitive to different cultural and religious backgrounds.
For a list of clinics in Ontario see the following websites:
You can also check out your local Community Health Centre or any public walk-in clinic.
Remember that no question is “too weird” to ask. Most staff have heard it all before, so you’re not the first one to ask about pregnancy or an STI. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a particular nurse or doctor request to see someone new.