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Sexual Health Awareness Week promotes Accessibility of Services

February 12, 2024

Sexual health is for everyone. And just like our physical health and mental health, sexual health is an important aspect of our overall wellbeing. It’s connected to more than just pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections – sexual health includes things like how we feel about our bodies, consent, social relationships, pleasure, who we’re attracted to, and more! Part of Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit’s recent strategic plan is having an Equity Diversity and Inclusion lens for all activities. One of the ways the Health Unit does this is ensuring accessibility and inclusion in programs like sexual health clinics which provide education, prevention, testing and treatment aimed at reducing the spread of sexually transmitted infections and blood borne illness, as well as unplanned pregnancies.

The LGL Health Unit sexual health clinics are available in seven different locations across Leeds, Grenville and Lanark, as well as within 4 local high schools. Staff are non-judgemental, welcoming those of all ages, genders and sexual orientations into safe and positive spaces. Clients who attend these clinics do not need to have a health card or a primary health care provider; in fact, some young people prefer the clinic’s confidential services apart from their family’s health care provider.

Services at the clinics include:

  • Free/Low-cost birth control
    • Condoms at no cost
    • Emergency contraception (Plan B)
    • Free Pregnancy Testing
    • Pregnancy Counselling and Referrals
    • Pap tests (ages 25 to 29)
    • Sexually Transmitted Infection testing and treatment at no cost
    • Counselling about relationships and sexual health decision-making
    • Immunization if eligible (HPV, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B)

The Health Unit also has a Nurse Practitioner in some clinics, which has allowed for expansion of services to include IUD placement and removal, as well as addressing more complex sexual health issues. This helps to reduce barriers to clients by providing a rapid pathway to a provider, providing sexual health services to clients who do not have a primary care provider, and by reducing the number of visits clients need to make in order to receive care.

The Health Unit also is involved with the University of Ottawa’s GetAKit program that provides at-home testing for HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections. These kits can be ordered directly from the Health Unit website and are mailed to your home at no cost.

Accessibility online has always been a Health Unit strength. The website is full of great information that you can browse anytime, which includes a specific section on clinics and classes as well as a health information button which provides more general information about sexual health. Social media accounts such as Facebook, X and Instagram allow for important updates and direct messaging from clients. Anyone seeking additional information can reach out through our email address: [email protected] or call the toll free number: 1-800-660-5853 to speak to a public health nurse.

Accessing local Sexual Health clinics is easier than ever with the Health Unit’s new online booking system, however anyone without a computer can still call the Health Unit directly to arrange an appointment.  Clinics in Brockville, Smiths Falls, Gananoque, Kemptville and Almonte may also be able to offer services to walk-ins, however appointments are highly encouraged.


For interviews, contact: [email protected]