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If I get tested for STDs, how is my privacy protected? Who will find out the results?

Thanks for asking, this is an important question. In Manitoba, most sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are reportable infections. This means a positive test result goes to the clinician who tested you and Public Health so that they can give you those results. Results are not shared with anyone else without the expressed consent of the client. People who are actively involved in your health care may have access to your information. This information is stored securely and protected by the Personal Health Information Act to keep it confidential.

Contact tracing is an important step in preventing the spread of these infections. When a person is diagnosed with one of the reportable STBBIs, it’s important that anyone who has had sexual contact with them or shared drug equipment with them is notified.  This way they can be tested and get treatment if necessary to protect their health and prevent other transmissions.

Testing for STBBIs can trigger some anxiety.  But knowing your status means access to effective treatment and prevention. STBBIs can go unnoticed since people often don’t notice symptoms, so the only way to know for sure is to get tested.