Lifestyle

Saskatoon Sexual Health centre hitting capacity, turning away potential patients

Saskatoon Sexual Health centre hitting capacity, turning away potential patients

Saskatoon Sexual Health (SSH) is getting ready for its move into a building where they will share space with OUTSaskatoon.

However, the non-profit organization is looking for a little help before it can continue to provide health and educational services.

SSH is aiming to raise $50,000 for the space, so it can handle the demand for testing and treatment.

Last year, the centre helped more than 3,500 patients, and now it’s getting so busy staff have had to turn people away.

“So for instance, (Monday) we had 12 spots at our drop-in clinic and there was another 12 people who would’ve liked full services and who either got partial services or turned away,” said executive director Heather Hale.

Sexually transmitted infections are a serious issue across the province.

Government data shows the infection rate of chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, AIDS and Hepatitis C were all above the national average in 2016-2017.

And in June, the Saskatchewan Health Authority declared a syphilis and HIV outbreak in northwest areas of the province.

“Fortunately, we’re not the only place that those services are available in Saskatoon, but we know that there is a shortage of those services and that folks feel comfortable here. So it is often a place that people know that they can come here, feel safe and that they won’t be judged,” Hale added.

The centre is planning to open at its new location in the new year and hopes anyone seeking treatment won’t be turned away.