Hi SFU! We are the Health Peer Educators Sexual Health Team. You may have seen us handing out condoms and lube around campus and sharing information about consent, contraception, and STIs. Caring for your sexual health is an important aspect of maintaining your overall health and well-being. We know it can be awkward and overwhelming, and sometimes it is difficult to even know where to start. So we talked to Barb, an awesome Sexual Health Nurse with SFU Health and Counselling Services (HCS), to address some frequently asked questions about the sexual health supports available to SFU students.
What sexual health services are available at HCS?
First, visit HCS’s updated website to see all of the services we offer.
A student can see a nurse for:
STI testing & treatment, pregnancy testing and Emergency Contraception, contraceptive advice and resources, vaccines, testosterone, and Depo contraceptive injections
Discuss in-person or virtually about how to access PrEP/PEP, contraceptives or inquire about STIs and testing (for actual prescriptions for PrEP or Contraception, you need to speak with a doctor in-person or virtually)
IUDs, Nexplanon (the contraceptive implant), oral or injectable contraceptive prescriptions after first having a consult visit with a clinic doctor (consultation is needed first to rule out health risks)
You are welcome to book a phone appointment to discuss STI, contraceptive concerns or questions, learn about reliable sexual health resources, and/or to get more specific information.
Can HCS help connect students to external providers for the services that are not available at SFU HCS?
Absolutely! Depending on the service needed, sometimes a referral from a doctor is required (e.g. Dermatologist), but in most cases resource location and contact information are adequate (e.g. HIM locations, Out on Campus etc.). Check out our website for some relevant resources.
We can offer support and referral/resources for those considering Therapeutic termination (we are a pro-choice clinic).
For students who have experienced sexual violence, we can help connect students with The Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office (SVSPO) as well as our own counselling and medical staff.
Transitioning students can get referrals for top/bottom surgery, as well as general support post-surgery.
Can students get HPV vaccines at SFU HCS?
Yes, students can book an appointment with the clinic nurse. The nurse will discuss the cost and any questions the student may have about the vaccine. The Gardasil9 vaccine is $185.00 per injection; it is a series of 3 injections. We encourage students to check their (SFSS) Student Extended Health Benefits for possible reimbursement. Some are eligible to get $150.00 back per school year. Some students are eligible for a publicly-funded HPV vaccine, which is also available at HCS. The nurse can determine who’s eligible. Unfortunately, MSP no longer covers the cost of the HPV vaccine for International students.
Where can SFU students get STI tests?
Students can be tested at Burnaby and Harbour Center Campus health clinics; the tests (usually swabs or a urine test) are taken and sent to the lab. We do not draw blood tests onsite–a lab requisition will be provided to you to take to the lab of your choice. This requisition can be emailed to you confidentially. You can also do the urine test at the lab when you go for the blood test if you prefer not to come to the HCS clinic. If other swabs are needed, you can discuss with the care provider about mailing pre-labelled swabs for you to self-test and drop off at the lab.
Other sites for testing include most “walk-in” medical clinics, the STI clinic in downtown Vancouver, Options for Sexual Health clinics, and HIM locations. Check their websites for times and appointments
Follow-up: What if students do not want to, or are unable to, come into the clinic in-person?
Discuss with the nurse or doctor; requisitions can be sent in the mail or mailed via a secure password protected mail, urine tests can be taken at the lab, and swab tests can be mailed.
Can students access Prep or PEP at SFU HCS?
Yes, PrEP is ordered from St. Paul’s pharmacy, and arrangements can be made for pickup at SFU health clinics or a pharmacy location close to your home. You are required to speak with a doctor to initiate this. All of our clinic doctors are familiar with this and comfortable prescribing it.
What contraceptive options can students access at SFU HCS?
A doctor can prescribe any of the contraceptive options; however the only ones we keep on site are Copper IUDs and Emergency contraception. For the Nexplanon implant, hormonal IUDs, and Depo Provera injection, the student will attain a prescription from a doctor first, then pick up the medicine or device from a drugstore and bring it in for their appointment.
Can students access emergency contraception at SFU HCS? Are there options in the community too?
Yes, students can make an appointment with either a nurse or clinic doctor, in-person or access any pharmacy; a prescription is not required. The health clinic charges $15.00 per emergency contraception pack. Often, this is also a good opportunity to discuss contraceptive options, or at least provide resources.
Can students access regular screenings like pap smears on campus?
Yes, the current recommendation for pap tests is to start at 25 years of age. For those younger wanting STI tests, one can come into the clinic as often as needed.
Are sexual health services also available at Vancouver and Surrey campuses?
Yes, there is a health clinic and you can book an appointment with a doctor there.
The SFU Surrey campus offers counselling services but no other medical services. There are many medical clinics nearby, such as one right beside the Shoppers Drug Mart at Surrey City Center.
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