For two weeks, Ryan Hook and his partner have been trying to book an appointment with a sexual health clinic in Victoria, B.C.
The clinic operates on a day-by-day basis and doesn’t take waitlists. By 7:30 a.m., Hook says all the slots are already booked.
He tried sending the clinic an email, only to receive an automated response informing him the clinic’s inbox was full.
“Our only other option at this point was going to the emergency (room),” he said. “So we’d be waiting for a long time and there’s other things to factor in like COVID-19.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased barriers to sexual health resources, experts say, with many clinics either reducing their hours and services or closing their doors altogether.