Top of the page
An STI is an infection you can get when you have genital, oral, or anal sexual contact with someone who is infected. STIs are some of the most common infections in the world, and the rates of some STIs in Alberta are going up. Anyone can get an STI, no matter their gender, sexual orientation, or age.
Some common STIs are:
Most STIs are easy to treat. But if an STI is not treated, it can lead to health issues like:
You can go to an STI clinic if you think you have an STI. The clinics have healthcare providers who specialize in STIs. Sometimes you can get your STI test results right away.
STI clinics may offer these services:
You don’t need a doctor to refer you to go to an STI clinic. The services are free and confidential. All sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions are welcome.
Find an STI clinic near you at ahs.ca/srh or by calling Health Link at 811. Call your local STI clinic for appointment or walk-in times.
The healthcare provider at the STI clinic will ask you questions about your health and sexual history. They ask these questions to make sure that you get the care, tests, treatment, or support you need. All of your answers are confidential. You can also ask the healthcare provider any questions you have.
Depending on your health and sexual history, the healthcare provider at the STI clinic might offer to do an STI test. To do the test, you might need to give a urine sample (you can usually do this at the clinic) or the healthcare provider may need to swab your throat, anus, or genitals. The healthcare provider may also offer to do a blood test or physical exam.
The healthcare providers at the STI clinic can also give you medicines or a prescription for medicines.
If I’m healthy, am I less likely to get an STI? You can get an STI anytime you have any type of sexual contant (like anal, oral, and vaginal sex) or genital contact, even if you’re very healthy. You can also get some STIs from nonsexual contact, like sharing needles or from parent to baby during pregnancy or when the baby is born.
How can I prevent an STI?
Can I get an STI if I only have oral sex or anal sex? Yes. You can get an STI from oral sex and anal sex. But because testing your blood or urine might not find an infection in your throat or rectum (the inside of your anus), you may need to get a swab from these areas to find the STI.
What are the symptoms of an STI?
You can have an STI without having any symptoms.? Many STIs don’t have symptoms, especially when the infection first starts.
When there are symptoms, they may include:
How often should I get tested for STIs? It’s important to get tested whenever:
If you have more than one partner or anonymous partners, it’s best to get tested every 3 to 6 months. Talk to a healthcare provider to help you decide how often you should get tested.
Will I have to tell my partner if I have an STI? Depending on the STI, your partner or partners may need to be tested or treated so that you don’t get infected again.
With some STIs in Alberta, your healthcare provider must ask you for contact information for your partner or partners. This is only to make sure that everyone gets the testing and treatment they need. If you don’t want to tell your partner or partners you have an infection, a nurse will do this for you, without saying who you are.
To find an STI clinic near you, go to ahs.ca/srh or call Health Link at 811.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
To see this information online and learn more, visit MyHealth.Alberta.ca/health/pages/conditions.aspx?Hwid=custom.ab_sticlinics_commonquestions.
For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.
Current as of: July 24, 2023
Author: Provincial STI Programs, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.