Residents in Saskatchewan will now be able to test themselves for HIV.
Free HIV self-test kits are available to the general public at 23 locations across the province.
The self-tests can be done at home, provide preliminary results in just one minute and only require a bit of blood from your fingertip. The test kits can also be purchased online and delivered directly from the manufacturer to your home.
“The HIV Self-Test kits provide a new testing resource for self-screening,” Persons Living with AIDS Network of Saskatchewan Community Engagement Coordinator Cheryl Barton said. “The kits include step-by-step instructions for self-testing and can be provided to persons to do on their own if they choose. Community-based organizations like ours, work together with health care providers to assist persons living at risk of HIV on their health journey.”
The province said in a news release that “when HIV is diagnosed and treated early, people can live longer and healthier lives. Knowing quickly if you have HIV also allows you to take precautions against spreading the virus to others.”
In just the first few weeks of this program, there has already been a high uptake, with over 70 HIV self-test kits already provided to members of the public since distribution began in January.
Everyone between the ages of 13 and 70 should be tested for HIV every five years, and more often if sexually active, sharing drug-use equipment or pregnant