Do you have a penis? Does getting tested for STIs (sexually transmitted infections) make you nervous? In case you didn’t know, Head & Hands does urine testing (not a urethral swab) for chlamydia and gonorrhea. It’s painless! All you have to do is pee in a cup!
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two of the most common STIs out there, so if you’ve ever had unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex you’re at risk. Youth under 25 are especially at risk.
Symptoms for people with penises include burning when you pee, penile and/or anal discharge, itching of the penis and/or testicular pain. But here’s the thing – only 50% of infected people experience these symptoms, so the only way to know for sure is to get tested. Both chlamydia and gonorrhea are easily treated with antibiotics when someone tests positive. Knowing your status can help you protect yourself and your sexual partners. While you’re at it you can also get tested for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B with a simple blood test.
If you’re between the ages of 12-25, come on down to the medical clinic at Head & Hands and give us a urine sample!
Please note there will be no health educator available to give results or health information during the week of July 8th. Jos will be back to her regular availability (Mondays 11-1pm, Wednesdays 3-5pm, Thursdays 2-4pm) as of Monday July 15th. We apologize for the inconvenience.
The official announcement has just been made – unfortunately, we did not win one of the grand prizes in Aviva’s online competition. However, we did win $5,000, and you can rest assured that we will use it to bring Street Workers back to NDG as soon as possible!!
Although we are sad to hear the news, overall participating in the Aviva competition has been a rewarding experience. In just a few weeks, we managed to gain 4877 supporters and over 11,000 votes from people and organizations who believe, as we do, that NDG’s at-risk youth deserve to be supported. We are extremely grateful to be part of a community that is so fiercely dedicated to youth health, and who supports our work with such strength and love.
WHAT ARE WE DOING NEXT?
We are working hard to carry the momentum created by all of you far beyond this competition. We have received letters of endorsement from multiple community organisations who supported us during the competition and can’t wait to work side by side with our street workers again. We’re excited to share these letters alongside our funding applications that are already in progress for a range of promising government and foundation grants. We are happy to announce that we recently secured our first successful “save street work” grant of $15,000 from the Silver Dollar Foundation, which means that a quarter of the first year’s budget is already covered!
Although we’re doing the best we can, grant-based funding alone might not be enough to bring this program back as quickly as it is needed.
Head & Hands has always believed that social services are strongest when they are offered for the community, by the community. If you are able to contribute any amount towards restoring this essential service to NDG, please click the link below! Write “save street work” as an instruction with your donation, and we will designate your gift specifically for the return of this program. If you prefer to give “offline”, please check out other giving options on our website.
Another great way to contribute is by organizing a fundraising event! If you have time and energy to help us in this way, please get in touch so we can share some tips and guidelines: firstname.lastname@example.org
Again, thank you so much for the amazing support you’ve already shown us. Together, we will put street workers back in this neighbourhood and ensure that our community’s most vulnerable youth get the support they need!
I was getting oral sex from a sex worker. I am really worry about HIV contraction. Please let me know regarding this issue.
I’ll do my best to answer your question, but I’m missing some details that would let me give you a truly accurate response on the risk level for your situation.
Assuming you’re stressed because you didn’t use a barrier (condom or dental dam) when getting oral sex, I can tell you that the HIV transmission rate during unprotected oral sex is not high. There is a risk of contraction for you, but it’s low. Regarding unprotected oral sex, I would be more concerned with the Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, or Herpes contraction, because the transmission of these STIs can be from a skin-to-skin contact.
The best way to lower your anxiety would be to get tested for these STIs. Something to have in mind before getting tested is that STIs have what’s called a window period. A window period is the time where an STI is alive in your body, is contagious, but is not yet detectable by a test. For example, Chlamydia’s window period is 3 to 10 days, but HIV’s window period is 3 to 6 months.
This means that if you’ve had sex and are worried about having contracted HIV, you have to wait at less 3 months after the sexual incounter that is worrying you to get an accurate test result. In most cases, the test will be accurate after 3 months, but to be sure, it’s important to get tested after 6 months as well.
You can always get tested for HIV (and other STIs) at the Head & Hands medical clinic on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. In the meantime, I would recommend that you use condoms and/or dental dams to make sure that you and your partners are protected.
“Street work has been a crucial part of Head & Hands since its inception in 1970. Since then, street workers have played a variety of roles in our community: conducting outreach and making youth aware of our services, running prevention and education programs, and extending the reach of essential services beyond our doors to reach youth in greatest need. Researching this history has made me realize how vital this program is for NDG youth; it is essential that we bring back this service to our neighborhood! “ – Gina Metallic, Master of Social Work Student Intern