Meeting Folks Where They Are At – STI Testing Clinic at Goliaths

Alisha OstbergBlog, Gay Men, HEAT, MSM, testing

Image of a masc presenting person looking at the camera with a neutral expression. They are wearing a spiked choker, pearl necklace, and leather jacket.

Author: SafeLink Alberta Community Outreach Coordinator

What Prevents People from Getting Tested for STBBIs?

We all know that testing for STBBI is important and should be part of a person’s regular health care check-up and needs. We also know that not everyone is comfortable with sharing personal information related to their sexual activities and personal health and testing.

There are several reasons that would prevent folks from being tested for STBBI’s including but not limited to bad experiences with the health care system, gender or orientation that is deemed wrong or inappropriate and or cultural factors that make the discussion taboo or impossible for some to have.

There is also the system itself that asks folks to share very personal information on a long questionnaire (in English), operating hours that do not meet the needs of people’s lives, such as finding daycare for kids, taking time from work, transportation and parking not to mention newcomers to Canada who may not have health care coverage yet as some systematic issues at play. There is also the ever-present homophobia/transphobia that is a reality for gender-diverse folks.

The most common thing shared with us when folks leave the clinic is, “That was amazing and so easy, thanks for having this,” and often very positive comments on the nursing and support folks that are there providing the service.

Because of these barriers to accessing STBBI testing, we at SafeLink Alberta have partnered with Alberta Health Services to provide a testing clinic at the local bathhouse Goliath’s every Friday to guys into guys in a place where they are meeting each other and without judgment. The clinic’s success in the community is based on the trust, credibility and confidentiality maintained with every client accessing the clinic.

SafeLink Alberta & Goliath’s Bathhouse: Testing Services for gbMSM in Calgary

Introducing SafeLink Alberta & Goliath’s Bathhouse, a joint initiative providing testing services for gbMSM individuals in Calgary, Alberta. This program is designed to offer accessible, confidential and non-judgmental testing options for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBTQ+) community members.

  • Time: Fridays from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Location: Goliath’s Bathhouse, 308b 17th Ave. SE Calgary, AB
  • Contact Information: (587) 391-4553 or email
  • Population: Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men
  • Accessible: No

Booked appointments are recommended, with a drop-in option also available. For any questions or to book an appointment, please contact HEAT at the provided phone number or email. This initiative is made possible through a partnership with Safeworks.

We would never be able to provide this type of service if not for the owners of Goliath’s being open to providing us with a room and promoting the testing clinics on their own pages and social sites and word of mouth shared by folks talking to their friends and contacts about how great the clinic and persons providing care.

There are no fees to access the business or testing clinic; however, you will be required to provide your Alberta Health Number at the clinic. There are no anonymous testing options currently available in Alberta.

Questions or concerns, give us a call, and we will do our best to get you the information and answers you are looking for.

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