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Get Tested Western! Returns Tomorrow to Highlight the Importance of STI Testing

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The numbers aren’t encouraging. For those in London and Middlesex County between the ages of 15 and 24, the rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea are consistently among the highest in the province. Many people in this group are pursuing post-secondary studies, creating a great opportunity for the Middlesex-London Health Unit and Western University to increase awareness and knowledge about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to students on campus.

Western and the Health Unit are teaming up again for the fifth edition of Get Tested Western! at the University Community Centre tomorrow, Thursday, March 28th, between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. While the challenge in the past was to overcome some of the apprehension often associated with STI testing; the goal now is to see how many people can pee in a cup over the course of eight hours. Last year’s event saw more than 1,200 people screened over 12 hours.

“Over the last five years, we’ve found the Get Tested! format makes it a lot easier to talk about STIs, while also decreasing some of the hesitation people may feel about getting tested,” says Sheila Densham, Health Promoter with the Middlesex-London Health Unit’s Sexual Health team.

“When you turn getting tested into it an event, especially in a student-centric space like the UCC, and tie in the competitive aspect of setting a new mark for how many tests can be done in a limited amount of time, we find that students are eager to participate and take control of their sexual health,” says Camilla Parpia, Health Promotions Coordinator for the University Students’ Council.

For a lot of people, getting tested for an STI can lead to feelings of embarrassment or an impression of being judged, resulting in anxiety and causing stigma. Most STIs can be treated easily, but left alone, some of these infections can lead to serious illness – even permanent damage, such as infertility. Anyone who is sexually active should get tested for STIs with each new sexual partner.

In addition to Get Tested Western! free and confidential testing is also available at The Clinic, the Health Unit’s sexual health clinic, located at its 50 King Street office in downtown London. The Clinic offers STI testing on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. as well as Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. No appointments are necessary and clients do not need a health card.

Visit for a full list of other available services.

Media Contacts:

Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit, 519-663-5317 ext. 2469 or 519-617-0570 (cell.)

Mikaela Harrison, Communications Officer, University Students’ Council, 519-661-2111 ext. 82618 or 905-244-2247 (cell.)


Sheila Densham, Health Promoter, Sexual Health Promotion Team, Middlesex-London Health Unit

Camilla Parpia, Health Promotions Coordinator, University Students’ Council

Tags: Get Tested Western, STI Testing, Western University, University Students' Council, UCC, The Clinic, Health Unit