Let’s talk about sex: A comprehensive guide to sexual health services in Kingston


February is the month of love, which means there’s no better time to have honest and accurate conversations about sexual health.

Here in Kingston, there’s an abundance of resources students can access for support and education. That said, we’ve rounded up a few of the most relevant ones to help guide you in prioritizing your sexual health and well-being. Whether you’re seeking information on contraception, STI testing, or simply need a safe space to discuss your concerns, these resources offer a wealth of support and education.

The Sexual Health Resource Centre (SHRC)

Located on the second floor of LaSalle Building on Stuart St., right above the AMS’s offices, the SHRC provides sex products and toys, pregnancy tests, condoms, and more on a confidential, non-judgemental, and affordable basis. They can refer students to places such as STI testing sites or abortion clinics and are available to answer common questions about sexual health and pleasure.

The centre is staffed by Queen’s students who are trained to provide accurate information and support in a welcoming and inclusive environment.

Student Wellness Services (SWS)

SWS can supply students with free STI and pregnancy tests, as well as condoms, birth control, and contraception. SWS can treat STIs, provide counselling and information on pregnancy, refer students to the Lakeside Clinic for abortions, and provide prenatal care from a family doctor until patients need to see an OB-GYN. The service can be accessed on the first floor of Mitchell Hall.

Lakeside Clinic

The Lakeside Clinic at Kingston General Hospital offers safe and discreet medical and surgical abortion services, which are covered by OHIP. Students can refer themselves and set up an appointment by calling 613-548-2423, or find a doctor to refer them to the clinic.

Medical abortion is available to those who are nine weeks pregnant or less. At the initial appointment, patients are provided with STI testing and counselling, before they’re given the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol to take at home, which will cause them to miscarry. A second follow-up appointment is scheduled to ensure the abortion was successful.

Surgical abortion, which is available to those who are between nine and 12 weeks pregnant, occurs over one day. In the morning, a doctor or nurse will conduct an STI test and do a brief physical exam. In the afternoon, a procedure called dilation and curettage is performed under anesthesia. A nurse is available to provide support to the patient after the procedure.

Those who are more than 12 weeks pregnant will be referred to other clinics in Ottawa or Toronto.

KFL&A Quick Test STI Clinics

Quick test STI clinics offer walk-in testing and treatment services for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, hepatitis C, and HIV, as well as free condoms. They’re recommended for those who are asymptomatic. Clinics are located around the Kingston area, including at Trellis HIV and Community Care, the Street Health Clinic, the Kingston Community Health Centre (KCHC), and the KFL&A Public Health offices, and are open at least two days a week in the morning and afternoon.

 Pap smears

While students can get pap smears at SWS, the CDK Family Medicine and Walk-In Clinic is an option for those who want to get their pap smear done off campus. The Ontario Health Connect service can also help students find a family doctor or nurse practitioner to conduct their pap smear.

Sexual violence or domestic/intimate partner violence 

The Sexual Assault Centre of Kingston (SACK) offers counselling, support, and accompaniment to survivors of sexual violence or domestic abuse, including a crisis support chat and text line, which can be reached at webelievesurvivors.ca or 613-544-6424. It also offers access to VESTA, an app that can be used to document and anonymously or formally report sexual assault to the Kingston Police.

Those seeking medical care within 12 days after experiencing sexual assault or domestic violence can visit the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence nurse at the KHSC’s Emergency Department, which is available 24/7. Services provided include pregnancy and STI tests, forensic DNA collection and injury documentation, counselling, and emergency medical care. Survivors who would like accompaniment to the hospital can contact the SACK or the SHRC.

At Queen’s, students can contact Barb Lotan, Queen’s University’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator, at bjl7@queensu.ca or 613-533-6000 x36330 to receive information and review their options. Counselling is also offered at SWS. In sexual violence or misconduct situations where at least one student was involved, students can report complaints to the vice principal (culture equity, and inclusion) via the university’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Services.

Tags

Contraception, Sex, Sexual Wellness

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.



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