Amidst a new wave of COVID infections across the country, many GBT2Q people seeking HIV testing are once again facing COVID-related barriers and challenges. To help address this need, CBRC and 20 community-based organizations across the country are distributing free HIV self-test kits to GBT2Q men in an effort to make HIV testing access easier through the Test Now program.
“HIV self-test kits have arrived at the right time,” says Brook Biggin, CBRC Program Director and Project Co-Lead. “As many GBT2Q men in need of HIV testing face barriers or don’t feel comfortable going to a clinic due to COVID, HIV self-testing provides a low-barrier, confidential, and safe alternative so that people can know their HIV status while maintaining peace of mind by reducing potential COVID exposure.”
HIV self-tests are safe and accurate and can be completed when and where you want, even in the comfort of your own home.
Click here to see how easy it is to use one.
Test Now project partners are distributing free HIV self-test kits in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Each project partner distributes kits in a way that works best for their local community, with kit access options ranging from walking into a pharmacy or having a kit hand delivered to your door.
“An estimated 8,300 people living with HIV in Canada are unaware of their HIV status,” says Chris Draenos, RN, CBRC Research Manager and Project Co-Lead. “GBT2Q men who are sexually active are encouraged to test for HIV at least yearly. CBRC’s 2021 Sex Now Survey demonstrated that more than 50% of GBT2Q men have not tested for HIV in the last year, almost double the percentage of who hadn’t been tested in the past year pre-pandemic. Providing low-barrier options for HIV testing, like HIV self-test kits, can help us turn the tide and ensure that more GBT2Q men who need to get tested can.”
We recognize that HIV stigma can act as a significant barrier to HIV testing. To help combat stigma related to HIV testing, we created a video with Canadian model Travis L’Henaff, who is someone living with HIV. L’Henaff speaks frankly on camera about his own experience testing positive and demystifies the process of taking the self-test by doing one himself and sharing his own positive result.
To get your kit and start your year off right, click here to get connected to a project partner near you.
Note: The Test Now: Community Edition project will conclude on February 14, 2022. If interested, we recommend that you access your kit as quickly as possible.