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New STI screening without a prescription: simplified, fast and always confidential

April 4th, 2023
Dr. Marc Steben, MD
Dr. Marc Steben, MD
Expert consultant - Sexual health

New STI screening without a prescription: simplified, fast and always confidential

Sexual health is essential to our well-being, and regular screening for sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STIs), commonly known as STI, is an excellent way to take care of your health and protect your partners. It is important to get tested even when there are no signs of infection, as STIs are most often transmitted by people who are asymptomatic. To make testing more readily available, Biron? is offering a brand new non-prescription STI screening service for people who are not experiencing symptoms.

No more waiting to find out

Usually, to get screened for a sexually transmitted or blood-borne infection (STI), such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, viral hepatitis B and C, syphilis and HIV, you need to see a doctor or nurse to get a prescription for the test. However, the time it takes to schedule an appointment can sometimes be discouraging, especially if you have no symptoms even if you have a regular doctor or nurse.

With Biron’s new service, you can be tested for STIs without a medical prescription, simply, quickly and confidentially. All you need to do is fill out a free and confidential online questionnaire. This personalized evaluation of your risk factors will determine which tests to conduct.

You can then book an appointment at one of our service centres. A nurse will welcome you without judgment and collect your samples in a professional, safe and confidential way.

The samples will be quickly transported to the laboratory for analysis. You will receive your results and personalized advice online within 24 hours and can, if you wish, discuss your case with the nurse in charge of your file at no additional cost.

Why get tested if there are no symptoms?

The majority of people who have an STI do not show signs or symptoms of disease. They can therefore unknowingly transmit the infection to others or develop complications. Only an STI screening test can confirm the presence of an infection. The person can then receive the right treatment quickly, avoiding the complications of an untreated infection and, above all, limiting the spread of the disease.

A number of situations may lead a person to get tested for STIs, including unprotected or partly protected sexual relations, sexual relations with a new partner, or ceasing to use condoms with a steady partner who has never been tested. In addition, some pregnant women may be uncomfortable having their doctor or midwife conduct the STI tests required during pregnancy. For certain people, making STI testing a part of their health check-up, similar to visiting the dentist regularly, would be a welcome option.

What to do if you have symptoms

Since the appearance of symptoms requires medical attention right away, you should contact your family doctor or visit a medical clinic, with or without an appointment, to get a prescription for a test and follow-up.

Main symptoms of STIs:

  • Itching in the anogenital area
  • Anogenital discharge
  • Unusual bleeding from the genital or anal area
  • Pain when urinating
  • Enlarged inguinal nodes in the groin (painful or not
  • Fever or shivering
  • Lesions or sores in the anogenital area
  • Any other abnormal sensation in the anal or genital area

Which STIs require screening?

The choice of STIs to test for depends on your risk factors. For example, in the questionnaire you will be asked about your sexual activities and exposure to blood.

Your answers will help us suggest screening for certain STIs that may not cause any symptoms:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C

Some infections do not fall under the category of STIs for which screening is recommended, as they are usually diagnosed by a health professional when symptoms are present (for example genital herpes or lymphogranuloma venereum) or screened for as part of cervical cancer prevention (high risk human papillomavirus ). Testing for these infections currently requires a medical prescription.

To learn more about the tests recommended based on risk, you can refer to the table published by Quebec’s Ministry of Health and Social Services.[1]

Act fast and at the right time

If you are concerned you may have contracted an STI, it is important to act quickly. This will allow you to:

  • Reduce your level of anxiety.
  • Avoid infecting future partners.
  • Inform your recent partners of the possibility they are infected.
  • Start treatment promptly to avoid complications.

Many individuals may test positive even if the test is done soon after infection. However, there is a minimum period of time before an STI can be detected (see the table “When to get tested”). In this regard, you should rely on the recommendations of healthcare professionals.

However, if the infection is recent, the virus or bacteria may not yet be detectable. To confirm the result, you will need to be tested again at a later date, at the end of the “window period,” and take preventive measures while waiting for the new results.

What are the minimum period and the window period?

The “minimum period” is the period of time, following exposure, after which an infection is likely to be detected.

The “window period” is the period of time, following exposure, during which an infection may be present but not detectable through testing. At the end of the window period, the test result will be highly reliable for most people.

When to get tested? [2,3]

STI Minimum period End of window period
Chlamydia Undetermined 14 days
Gonorrhea Undetermined 14 days
Syphilis 10 days 12 weeks
Hepatitis B 7 days 12 weeks
Hepatitis C 6 weeks 12 weeks
HIV 14 days 12 weeks

Screening: a good reflex to develop

STIs are unfortunately on the increase,[4] and no sexually active person is free from risk of this type of infection. The best way to protect yourself and others is to practice safe sex and get tested regularly for STIs.

When sexual relations are not protected by a condom or a dental dam, either without penetration or with oral, vaginal or anal penetration, there is a risk of contracting an STI. One of the safest practices is to always wear a condom, not only during penetration, but also for any contact in the anal or genital area, even without penetration.

You may want to schedule an STI screening appointment at the same time as your annual medical check-up, or every three to six months if you engage in high-risk practices. This can help you avoid unpleasant surprises, because an untreated infection, even if it causes no symptoms, can lead to serious health problems and be spread to others.

An STI is a private matter that people do not always want to discuss with their family doctor. With non-prescription testing you can, by completing an online anonymous? questionnaire, gain greater access to trained professionals who will test you without judgment. If needed, they will provide guidance and advice on ways to prevent infection, along with offering treatment and informing you how to notify your partners.[5,6] One more reason why you should not hesitate to seek medical attention for an STI and get confidential advice.

For professional support, we’re here for you. 

We offer STBBI screening without a prescription. Simply fill out a free, confidential questionnaire to determine which tests are appropriate, then make an appointment.

Non-prescription STBBI Screening Form

Do you have symptoms? You will need a doctor’s note to be tested. Once you have one, make an appointment online or contact Biron Health Group customer service at 1 833-590-2712.

Sources6
  1. Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. “ITSS à rechercher selon les facteurs de risque décelés – Intervention préventive relative aux ITSS,” Director of Communications for the MSSS, 2019, 4 pp., https://publications.msss.gouv.qc.ca/msss/fichiers/2019/19-308-03W.pdf
  2. Évelyne Fleury and Claude Laberge. “Guide québécois de dépistage des infections transmissibles sexuellement et par le sang,” Director of communications for the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, updated in 2019, pp. 44-45,  https://publications.msss.gouv.qc.ca/msss/fichiers/2019/19-308-13W.pdf
  3. Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. “Syphilis, hépatites B et C, VIH. Prélèvements et analyses recommandés chez une personne asymptomatique,” Director of Communications for the MSSS, 2019, 2 pp., https://publications.msss.gouv.qc.ca/msss/fichiers/2019/19-308-11W.pdf
  4. Karine Blouin, Gilles Lambert and Sylvie Venne. “Portrait des infections transmissibles sexuellement et par le sang (ITSS) au Québec. Année 2019.” Institut national de santé publique du Québec, October 2019, 128 pp., https://www.inspq.qc.ca/sites/default/files/publications/2783-portrait-infections-transmissibles-sexuellement-sang.pdf
  5. Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. “Entre caresses et baisers, une ITSS s’est faufilée… Il faut en parler,” Director of Communications for the MSSS, 2005 (updated in 2020), 7 pp., https://publications.msss.gouv.qc.ca/msss/fichiers/2019/19-328-05F.pdf
  6. Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. “Soutenir la personne atteinte d'une ITSS pour qu'elle avise ses partenaires : quatre étapes - Intervention préventive relative aux ITSS,” Director of Communications for the MSSS, 2014 (updated in 2019), 5 pp., https://publications.msss.gouv.qc.ca/msss/fichiers/2019/19-308-07W.pdf
Dr. Marc Steben, MD
Dr. Marc Steben, MD
Expert consultant - Sexual health
Dr Marc Steben, Expert consultant Sexual Health, Biron Groupe Santé