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Getting tested is part of safe sex as incidence of STIs climbs across Canada

The risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may be an awkward icebreaker on a first date or hook-up, but a new campaign advises that if you are sexually active, you should also be getting tested regularly.

"There is a misinformed stigma associated with STIs, even though they are very common and can be managed and treated," says Dr. Jennifer Blake, CEO, SOGC. "We've seen a 50-70% jump in the incidence of gonorrhea and chlamydia over the past 15 years - most common in young people under 25. These rates can be dramatically reduced."

The Canadian campaign follows on the success of the "Yes Means Test" campaign in the United States, sponsored by The American Sexual Health Association.

STIs are most often transmitted through unprotected vaginal, oral, and anal sex. Often an infected partner will not have any obvious signs or symptoms and may not be aware they are infected.