KFL&A Public Health sees uptick in STI cases

Queen’s Student Wellness Services, KFL&A Public Health partner to increase STI testing

Image by: Curtis Heinzl
Quick testing is now available Monday to Friday

Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health is seeing a “spike” in gonorrhea cases among post-secondary aged individuals, says Nicole Szumlanski, manager of the sexual health program at KFL&A Public Health.

In response, Student Wellness Services (SWS) at Queen’s is partnering with the KFL&A Public Health Unit to increase drop-in testing availabilities for asymptomatic students.

Starting in February, the quick-tests became available twice a week and has recently increased to offer testing on weekdays at SWS—without needing to book an appointment. Quick testing is now available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“KFL&A Public Health’s sexual health team is excited about the new drop-in STI quick test clinics being held at Queen’s University Wellness Services opening,” Szumlanski said in a statement to The Journal.

As a part of KFL&A Public Health’s initiative, clinics across Kingston have started offering drop-in testing for STIs following increases during the pandemic.

“Together as a community, we’re striving to boost the testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne illnesses (STBBI),” Szumlanski continued.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) like chlamydia and gonorrhea are prevalent in the post-secondary student age group, according to Cynthia Gibney, executive director of SWS.

“We want to provide an easy and fast way to facilitate students getting tested, so we can hopefully decrease the spread of these types of illnesses,” Gibney said in a statement to The Journal.

According to Queen’s student health survey, two per cent of respondents in Queen’s student health survey were diagnosed with chlamydia in the last year. 68 per cent of student respondents engaged in sexual activity last year, with 44 per cent using a protective barrier “almost always.”

13 per cent of students reported having four or more sexual partners over the last year.

“Public Health has been seeing an increase in infections in the area, which is why they have started up this quick test initiative,” Gibney said.

Gibney emphasized the importance of using a protective barrier, saying they are the most effective way to protect against STIs.

“These infections can be asymptomatic, so we recommend students get tested if they have had sex without a protective barrier,” she said.

For students with STI symptoms, appointments are bookable at the SWS with a physician or nurse. Most are easily treatable with antibiotics, Gibney said.

The Sexual Health Resource Centre at Queen’s is also available to students, offering various products, seminars, and resources.


Health, Kingston Public Health, sexual health, STDs, Student Wellness Services

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content