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Rosa's
Bag

Rosa, age 27, has just migrated to Quebec. She wants to meet people from her home country, living here in Canada.

Self-esteem

It can be hard to be far from home.

Feelings of isolation can set in fast. Building ties with people from your country of origin in your new home can be a good way to break the solitude. Building a new network, putting down roots, and having new experiences are also all good ways to feel more at ease in your new home country.

Healthcare

Commonly called a “Medicare” card, this gives you access to the Quebec healthcare system.

Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) are covered by the public health insurance plan (RAMQ). If you do not have a Medicare card, contact RAMQ or your local community HIV organization to find out what options are available.

You can also refer to the Where can I get tested section of this website to search for a HIV testing center near you.

Prevention

In addition to being an effective method of contraception, condoms provide protection against STBBIs including HIV.

Having condoms on you at all times can make it easier to negotiate condom use with your partners. Remember to also use a water- or silicone-based lubricant, to prevent lesions during vaginal or anal sex.

If you do not like using condoms or if your current partner tells you that wearing one makes him lose his erection, there is no need to panic. There is plenty of sexual play that you can do without a condom, that entails little risk of infection.

If you did not use a condom, or if the condom broke, emergency contraception (also known as the morning after pill) can prevent an unplanned pregnancy if it is taken quickly (within 5 days).

There is also post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), a treatment option that is recommended after unprotected vaginal or anal sex with a partner who is HIV-positive or whose status is unknown.

Communication

Part of discovering a new country is meeting new people!

You should be able to freely express your desires and needs to your future partners, but remember the flip side of communication… Knowing how to listen! Sometimes we have differing opinions, which is to be expected! The goal of communication is not to think alike, but to get to know the other person’s ideas, opinions, and positions… And respect them.

Useful resources

It is good to get into the habit of speaking to your healthcare professional freely and without fear of judgement.

Whether you want to talk about a new method of contraception or get tested for HIV and other STBBIs, it is a good idea to get into the habit of seeing your doctor regularly.

Plus, it makes you an important player in the fight against STBBIs in Quebec.

Arousal

Lube… don’t go anywhere without it!

To avoid lesions during vaginal and anal sex, use water- or silicone-based lubricant. Feel free to re-apply liberally, since this minimizes the risk of lesions. If you do not have any on you, opt for lubricated condoms.

Pleasure

Ready to explore

Sometimes it feels good to shake up the routine a bit by including sex toys in your activities. Be aware that a sex toy has the same potential for transmitting infections as a penis. If you plan to share your toys, you should use a condom on them. Remember, if you decide to switch from vaginal to anal sex, you should also change condoms.