Over 80% of chlamydia and gonorrhea infections are missed by relying on just urine and blood lab testing. Canadian guidelines for proper PrEP care recommend swabbing all sites at risk. This includes offering throat and rectal swabs.
And yet, many PrEP services don’t provide swabbing or only make it available if a patient requests it!
Some are even providing the wrong swabs and these end up getting cancelled at the lab. This leads to false confidence of your STI status and spread within the community.
Why is urine testing not enough?
Gonorrhea and chlamydia are two common sexually transmitted bacterial infections. These infections can be found in the penis, vagina, throat, or rectum.
A urine test only checks one specific part of your body and doesn’t tell you if the bacteria is at the other sites. And blood testing doesn’t check for gonorrhea or chlamydia.
Who should get swabbed?
If you are performing oral sex or bottoming during anal sex, you should be completing throat and/or rectal swabs. Heteronormative care providers may not offer these.
As the only online PrEP service that is actually LGBTQ+ owned and operated we make sure you get all the right tests in all the right places.
Can I have an STI and not know?
A person can test negative in their urine but still have gonorrhea or chlamydia in their throat – or in their rectum.
Sometimes people don’t even have symptoms in those parts of the body so they can pass it on to other people without realizing. The only way to know for sure is to get a throat and rectal swab.
For >80% of patients who show these infections in their swabs, it does not appear in their urine test result and would be missed. Unfortunately, not swabbing leads to missed diagnoses and false confidence of your STI status. This all increases the spread.
Does The PrEP Clinic provide swabs?
Since opening Ontario’s first online PrEP service in 2019 we have always included swabs in routine labs.
Labs in Ontario do not offer these specific swabs but they do accept them after self-collection. We automatically provide swabs to our patients every 3 months with their routine PrEP labs anywhere in Ontario. We also offer them on-site at our in-person locations as well.
The current swabs in Ontario have yellow tops, like the ones Pharmacist Kishan is holding in our ad at the start of this page. Even though there is a cost for the clinic to ensure our patients have swabs every 3 months – we have always put people before profits to do what’s right.