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Thursday, March 01, 2018

Western University and Health Unit Team Up for 4th Edition of Get Tested! Event

For the fourth straight year, the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is teaming up with Western University for the Get Tested Western! event today between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., in the University Community Centre Atrium. While 1,053 people were screened for sexually-transmitted infections last year, setting a new world record for the most STI tests done in a single day, this year’s goal is simply to screen and test as many students as possible.

Since it began in 2015, Get Tested Western! has provided an opportunity for students to have conversations about sexually-transmitted infections and to learn about the importance of testing. While testing as many people as possible within a 12-hour time window is one way to engage students, the more important goal lies in raising awareness about STI screening and working to erase some of the stigma and judgement often associated with testing.

“We see people in our clinic every day who, because of simple screening and testing, have been able to get the treatment they need. Getting tested really is as simple as peeing in a cup and it goes a long way to protecting your sexual and reproductive health,” says Leanne Powell, Public Health Nurse with the Sexual Health Promotion team at the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “Our goal is to make the Get Tested Western! event something that everyone wants to get involved in, which goes a long way to removing the embarrassment some people might feel about getting tested.”

Once they are diagnosed, most STIs can be remedied easily with medication, however if they are left untreated, some infections can have consequences that may lead to serious illnesseses and even permanent damage, including infertility. The MLHU recommends that anyone who is sexually active get tested for STIs before each new sexual partner.

In addition to today’s Get Tested Western! event, the Health Unit offers free and confidential STI testing at its London Sexual Health Clinic, located at 50 King Street and by appointment on Thursdays at the MLHU’s Strathroy office. To book an appointment in Strathroy call 519-663-5446. The London Clinic operates on a drop-in basis on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. and Fridays from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. London clients do not need to show their health card.

The Health Unit’s sexual health clinics offer a safe and non-judgemental place where clients can have open discussions about their sexual health with professionals.

For more information, a list of clinic services and the top 10 reasons to get tested, visit the Health Unit’s website at www.healthunit.com/sexually-transmitted-infection-clinic.

Media Contact:

Elizabeth Milne
Executive Assistant to the Board of Health and Communications
Middlesex-London Health Unit
519-663-5317 ext 2448
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