Nine Circles Community Health Centre answers questions about sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections to get the word out. Please scroll through our posts about safer sex, transmission, testing, harm reduction, etc… to find what you are looking for. You can also browse popular keywords by clicking SEARCH. If you don’t see your question here click ASK to submit one for our Health Educators to answer.

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I am a 67 year old retired secretary who lives alone. I was married to one person for 28 years and have never used drugs. But now my daughter is telling me that people my age can heave Hep C and not know it.

There are many Canadians who are living with Hep C and don’t realize it, so testing guidelines are meant to find those undiagnosed cases.  Canadians who were born between 1945 and 1975 who have never been tested are encouraged to be tested for Hep C … Read Full Answer

I've been married to my husband for 9 years. I read that everyone who is sexually active should be tested for HIV every 5 years. Is it really necessary for people like us?

You are correct that we recommend HIV testing every 5 years for sexually active Manitobans.  Safer sex practices (including testing) are for all sexually active people regardless of their relationship status, gender, sexual orientation or whether they’ve ever had a sexually transmitted infection or not. Many people … Read Full Answer

What infections get passed through rimming?

Rimming is also known as anilingus, eating ass or eating out.  During rimming partner(s) use their tongue to suck, kiss, lick or orally stimulate the anus of the partner. While giving or receiving anilingus can be pleasurable, it can result in the transmission of some sexually transmitted infections … Read Full Answer

What does a herpes sore look like?

Some people experience mild and infrequent symptoms that are easy to mistake for something else.  There are also people who have no symptoms at all.   On the other hand there are people have noticeable blisters or sores.  These look similar to a cold sore.  The may also have tingling, itching, burning or painful sensations, and sometimes make it painful to pee.  Most people … Read Full Answer

Can I ever get an STI from kissing?

Kissing is a least risky sexual activity. The only STI one needs to be concerned about is Herpes (HSV 1 & 2). It’s important to note that many people have the herpes infection and people are embarrassed talking about it considering the stigma around it. … Read Full Answer

I use a condom for all genital sex but not oral, what can I get by doing oral on a woman? What about a man?

Condoms are an effective prevention tool for genital sex, however unprotected oral sex on the vagina (cunnilingus) can transmit herpes, HPV and syphilis. A barrier such as a sex dam can significantly reduce your risk. Using a sex dam can be stimulating and fun, they come in several flavors and adding water-based lubrication can … Read Full Answer

My boyfriend and I began having sex a month ago. We've been using condoms, but this weekend he didn't have one so he just pulled out before he came. Then I peed right after sex. Is this safe?

Pulling out before ejaculation (coming) doesn’t help prevent STIs (sexually transmitted infections) because many bacteria and viruses don’t depend on ejaculation to pass from person to person.  Many can be passed through pre-cum, vaginal fluids, anal fluids or skin to skin contact.   We recommend STI testing for … Read Full Answer

How long does it take for HIV to show up on a test result? I had sex with someone a year ago and got tested 6 months ago. The result was HIV negative 6 months ago. Should I get tested again?

What you’re asking about something we call a “window period.”  The window period is time between potential exposure to infection and the point when the test will give an accurate result.  The window period for the HIV test we use here in Manitoba is up to 3 months.  … Read Full Answer

I had sex last night with someone who injects drugs. No condom. Should I go get PEP? (those are the meds to prevent HIV right?)

Post Exposure Prophylaxis medication is a tool we can use to prevent HIV transmission after an actual or suspected high risk exposure to HIV.  At Sex Friendly Manitoba we focus on the sexual activities performed and not the individuals involved.  Our answer would be the same if you had condomless sex with someone who does or doesn’t use drugs … Read Full Answer

I was tested for gonorrhea and Chlamydia 9 days after I had sex (wearing a condom) and the test results came back negative. Can the results be believed, should I go back?

One of your best defenses against STIs is the consistent use of safer sex supplies, including condoms and water based lube.  Seeing as you used a condom, you’ve taken a great step to protect yourself against transmission of both gonorrhea and Chlamydia.
Here’s a little info about what we call “window periods.”  … Read Full Answer