Sexual Health Programs in Hamilton, Ontario
If you are a sexually active teen and live in Hamilton, Ontario, or the surrounding area and are looking for information on sexual health, there is a website that provides this information at http://www.hamilton.ca. Scroll down Services and click Load More to visit Public Health, then click: Visit a public health clinic. Scroll down to: Services at the Public Health Clinic, and click. A list of services, including where you can locate free condoms, are recorded.
The website states it offers information on:
- Sexual health, safer sex practices, abstinence and birth control information.
- Low-cost birth control based on medical eligibility. Birth control available at the clinics includes the pill, patch (Evra) and ring (Nuva Ring).
- Free Emergency Contraceptive Pill, also called ECP, Plan B or the Morning After Pill. You can take ECP up to five days after unprotected sex.
- Free urine pregnancy testing.
- Free testing for sexually transmitted infections or STIs. Testing involves collecting urine, blood and/or swabs. Do not urinate for two hours before you come to the clinic if you want STI testing. We cannot give test results over the phone; you must return to the clinic in two weeks for results.
- Free treatment for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV (genital warts) and syphilis. If you have symptoms of an STI or you know your partner has an STI, you may be treated before test results are confirmed. Treatment for HPV (genital warts) is not available at the Waterdown Clinic.
- Anonymous and nominal HIV testing. You can choose to use your name (nominal) for an HIV test or you can get a code number and have anonymous testing. You can either have an HIV blood test where you return to the clinic to get your results in two weeks or Rapid HIV testing, based on eligibility criteria. We cannot give test results over the phone.
- Rapid HIV testing, also known as Point of Care. We take a finger prick blood sample and the results are ready in a few minutes. You must meet certain eligibility criteria to have this test. Testing is not available at the Waterdown Clinic.
- Free condoms.
- Free hepatitis A and B vaccines, based on eligibility criteria.
- Free needle syringe and harm reduction supplies such as alcohol swabs, sterile water, ascorbic acid, filters, cookers, sharps containers for safe disposal of used needles and safe injecting information. Supplies are not available to diabetic clients.
Sexual Health Information Line for Hamilton: 905-528-5894 (confidential, no call display)
Note to Receptionists!
A few years ago, while waiting in line at the doctor’s office reception to check in for my appointment, a girl of high-school age was waiting ahead of me and when it was her turn she leaned right in and whispered something to the receptionist, who promptly looked up and with a loud voice announced, “OH NO! YOU NEED A WALK-IN CLINIC. IF YOU ARE NOT A PATIENT HERE THE DOCTOR CAN’T SEE YOU!” with which the young lady turned on her heels and ran toward the exit.
I felt my heart sink. There was obviously something very important for which the young girl needed support, but didn’t know where to go. I’m not saying it was her sexual health, but from her embarrassment when the receptionist decided to announce to the whole world that there was no room for her at the inn, it was pretty clear that this young woman, who wasn’t with a parent, was looking for help for a very private matter. I think about her often, and wonder if she got the help she appeared to so desperately need.
If you are looking for a doctor in the Hamilton, Ontario area call the Hamilton Academy of Medicine at 905-528-1611 or go to http://www.hamiltondoctors.ca to find out which doctors in your area are accepting new patients. You will need to call the doctor’s office to set up an appointment before you go, and remember to take your health card. Or you can call the Health Care Connect Program at 1-800-445-1822 or go to http://www.health.gov.on.ca/ms/healthcareconnect/public. There you will find help connecting to a doctor or nurse practitioner who is accepting patients in your community.
If you are a minor male or female and are being sexually abused, call the Hamilton, Ontario police at 911; and the Children’s Aid Society at 905-522-1121, or after hours emergency at 905-522-8053 or the Catholic Children’s Aid Society at 905-525-2012, or after hours emergency at 905-522-5606.
If you are a male or female and in a sexually abusive relationship and need help getting out, call the Hamilton, Ontario police at 911. For females, also call SACHA sexual assault center at 905-525-4162, http://www.sacha.ca. If you are a male or female victim of rape, incest, or human trafficking, call Hamilton, Ontario police at 911.
If you are a minor who is being sexually abused and cannot speak to your caregivers about it, call the Hamilton, Ontario police at 911 and the Kids Help Line at 1-800-668-6868. The website is http://www.KidsHelpPhone.ca. Keep telling people until you are believed.