CBC.ca (03.26.12) - Monday, April 02, 2012
Prince Edward Island (PEI) health officials are encouraging
more STD testing, especially among men.
According to Dr. David Reid of the University of PEI Student
Health Center, "on average about 80 or 90 percent of the
students I see are female." And while their visits initially
may not be for STD testing, just getting these women in the
door increases the odds they will be screened.
Dr. Chris Hoffman, who heads a part-time women's clinic in
Charlottetown, concurs. "The vast majority are in fact coming
for their regular Pap [test] and [birth control] pills and
this was kind of an add-on that wasn't really their initial
concern," said Hoffman. "But that's how we're finding lots of
Many men avoid testing for fear of its being physically
uncomfortable. Moncton Sexual Health Center nurse Jocelyne
Maurice remembers the days of the invasive "Q-tip in the
opening of the penis test," which was "a deal breaker for some
men to come in for testing."
Technological advances have rendered that Q-tip test obsolete.
Tests can now be conducted on urine and blood samples, and
through a visual inspection. Holland College student Richard
Lush believes male reluctance is connected to ego. "It's a
pride thing. Men, they don't have the courage to do it," said
Reid agrees. "A lot of young males see themselves as
invincible. They don't seem to think anything can happen to
them," he said. UPEI student council member Jeff MacDougald is
endeavoring to change those mindsets. Last year he persuaded
25 other UPEI students to get tested.
"While you may not present symptoms, you are essentially a
carrier for the disease and you could be giving it to [your
female counterparts], and that can render them infertile,"