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Safe STI tests available as B.C. continues to see syphilis outbreak

Last Updated May 25, 2020 at 8:53 pm PDT

(iStock photo)

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The province’s top doctor says it’s safe now for anyone needing to get tested for sexually transmitted infections to visit a health clinic.

In October, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported a huge spike in syphilis infections with more than 900 cases recorded in 2018. Infections have risen 33 per cent from the previous year.

“So testing is a part of it, the sexual health clinics will be opening up. GetCheckedOnline is available for you, and the importance of using condoms for protection is still very important.”

Dr. Henry says it’s essential for anyone having sex right now to make sure it is safe, especially for anyone starting a new relationship during the pandemic.

Earlier this month, Henry urged singles to take things slow as the province was looking into lifting COVID-19 restrictions.

While she gave the O.K. for in-person dating, she said, “Pick somebody, see if it works, and take your time.”

“If you’re going to be pulling them into your small circle, then make sure you’re the only one in their circle as well.”

RELATED ARTICLE: People trying dating services during pandemic, advised to ‘take it slow’

Henry warned those who are considering dating that the virus can be spread through kissing.

“This is a respiratory virus that spreads through droplets, so, yes, we’ve seen it with other diseases that can be spread this way. So, yes, I would expect that if somebody was sick with it and they were kissing somebody else, they could actually, quite effectively pass it on that way,” she said.

-With files from Monika Gul