Clark's Crossing Gazette

Free HIV test kits now available province-wideFree Access

Saskatchewan residents are now able to test themselves for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Free HIV self-test kits are available to the general public at 23 locations across the province.  These self-tests can be done at home, provide preliminary results in just one minute and only require a bit of blood from your finger tip.  Test kits can also be purchased online and delivered directly from the manufacturer to your home.

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.

“We have seen the clear benefits of having quick and easy access to at home testing options,” Health Minister Paul Merriman said. “Our government is proud to be able to provide this new option for anyone concerned about possible exposure to HIV. Beyond HIV self-testing, many options are now available to help Saskatchewan residents detect changes to their health with minimal time and effort – COVID-19 rapid tests, at home pregnancy tests, blood sugar monitors and blood pressure cuffs.”

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.

“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.”

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.

A full list of sites where free HIV self-testing kits are available can be found on the Government of Saskatchewan website at saskatchewan.ca/HIV.

HIV self-testing kits can be purchased online at www.insti.com/hiv-self-test/.