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Julie, age 31, is a young mother who has been in a relationship for several years. Completely in love, Julie cannot imagine her partner ever being unfaithful.
Being a mother, a woman, and a lover can sometimes feel like too many roles to play at the same time. Sometimes you have to find a way to motivate yourself to get out of your comfy clothes and put on a little makeup to feel like yourself again. You and your partner might want to take time out of the daily routine to spend together (for example: why not take a bath together after the kids have gone to bed?) or even ask your partner to look after the kids for a few hours, and give yourself a break. These are all highly recommended strategies for taking care of yourself and your family!
Some women dream of having children their whole lives, while for others it is not part of their life goal. Wanting children is a personal decision that you have to make alone or with your partner.
Getting tested for HIV and other STBBIs before getting pregnant is a good way to ensure that you don’t have any infections, and to get treated if needed.
Should it be discovered that you have contracted HIV, know that an HIV-positive pregnant woman under treatment and receiving appropriate medical care, can have a safe pregnancy and give birth to a healthy, HIV-negative baby.
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.
Don’t be shy to take the initiative with your doctor, who might not have the reflex to ask you about STBBI testing, especially if you have been in a stable relationship for a long time. Getting tested regularly for sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs), including HIV, is a good way to protect your sexual health as well as your partner’s. Getting tested does not mean that you do not trust your partner(s). Getting tested is a way of asserting that sexual health is important to you.
Plus, it makes you an important player in the fight against STBBIs in Quebec.
See the “Where can I get tested” section of this site to search for the nearest HIV testing center.
Communication is central to relationships and sexuality. Nowadays, relationships can take many forms. They can be monogamous, open, polyamorous, etc. This is why it is important to talk to your partner(s), define the parameters of your relationship, clarify your expectations, and decide on the type of relationship you want.
Whatever your situation, maintaining your sexual health is essential. It is highly recommended that you and your partner(s) add regular HIV and STBBI testing to your health routine. Ask your doctor about it at your next gynecological exam.
What’s more, condoms greatly reduce your risk of contracting an STBBI, including HIV. That is why we recommend that you always keep a few close at hand (in a pouch in your purse, for example).
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.
Did you know that flavoured condoms are best kept for oral sex?