In conjunction with National HIV Testing Day on June 27, 2020, CBRC is excited to launch our new research program on innovative testing technologies and approaches, Test Now.
The need for new testing options is more important than ever. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many sexual health services were reduced or suspended altogether. We need new, better and easier ways to test to ensure that gay, bi, trans, Two-Spirit, and queer guys (GBT2Q) have options to test, prevent and treat HIV and other STBBIs, such as Hep C and syphilis.
One of the key innovations in HIV testing has been self-testing technologies and approaches. Since 2012, multiple HIV self-tests have become available in 28 other countries. After several years of advocacy, Canada should have its first HIV self-test (a finger prick test) later this year, and GBT2Q guys are ready for it! Here is what we heard in the recent Sex Now 2019 survey:
- Over 80% said they could self-collect blood from a finger prick
- Over 50% said they delayed HIV or STBBI testing in the past year due to barriers such being too busy, inconvenient hours or experiences of stigma
Through funding received from the CIHR Centre for REACH 3.0, we will evaluate and implement several national and provincial projects that involve HIV self-testing. Some of these projects will also include STBBI testing for Hep C and syphilis using Dried Blood Spot testing.
We are leveraging our networks and experience in GBT2Q health from our Sex Now surveys and the Advance Pan-Canadian Community Alliance to help bring innovation to testing as well as linkage to prevention and treatment.
- Check out and share our Test Now page for details on our different research initiatives
- Join our Community Advisory Committee (honoraria provided) by sending in a statement of interest or share the opportunity with a friend/colleague
- Get the word out about new ways to get tested for HIV, Hep C and Syphilis with our new informational resource
The Test Now research program is managed by the National HIV and STBBI Testing and Linkage Implementation Manager at CBRC, Chris Draenos (he/him). Chris is a Registered Nurse in Ontario, and has experience working with diverse populations with a focus on sexual health, harm reduction and people living with HIV.
Questions, comments or feedback can be sent to him: email@example.com.