Test Now: Innovations in Testing and Linkage to Care Projects
CBRC believes the best way to improve sexual health is to provide guys with the tools they need to make informed decisions. By increasing testing options, we hope to enable more guys to be aware of their sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection (STBBI) status. As part of the CIHR Centre for REACH 3.0, we will implement and evaluate testing options that will help reach the undiagnosed, and reduce new HIV and STBBI infections in our community.
For this to happen, we are looking for new, better and easier ways to reach gay, bisexual, trans, Two-Spirit and queer (GBT2Q) guys who want to test for HIV and other STBBIs, such as Hep C and syphilis. We also want to connect guys to the support, care, and prevention resources they want. Click here for more information on new ways to get tested for HIV, Hep C and Syphilis.
We have three new national projects to support GBT2Q guys with self and home testing, including a pilot implementation project that will provide support, prevention and care resources and referrals. At the provincial level, we also have dedicated funding to work alongside with Indigenous and Two-Spirit communities throughout BC to address the unique and specific needs for HIV and STBBI testing in those communities.
Test@Home: At-Home HIV and STBBI Testing
Building on our at-home Dried Blood Spot (DBS) pilot in BC during Sex Now 2019, we will ask GBT2Q guys across Canada to Test@Home. Several options for at-home testing will be explored, which may include HIV, Hep C and syphilis testing. We want to know who would use these tests, whether we can reach GBT2Q guys who experience barriers with traditional testing options, and whether this type of testing can be expanded. This project will also be supported by our new Health Hook Up Service.
Health Hook Up: Self-Test Support, Prevention Support and Confirmatory Testing
As new options to test become available, GBT2Q guys may have questions or need support. The Health Hook Up program will help connect GBT2Q guys to prevention, testing and care resources. There may be several ways for guys to have a ‘health hook up’ with us, including phone, website, chat or an app.
Since healthcare is delivered differently depending on the province or territory that you live in, we’re setting up a network of local community organizations and healthcare providers across Canada to make the appropriate health hookups. There will be other important information and prevention referrals, such as PrEP or PEP, that can be made through this service. As this is a new way of linking guys to sexual health services, we also want to learn how effective this approach is for providing the support they need as they engage with new testing technologies.
Get it Wet: Oral HIV Self-Testing
There is a new rapid test coming to Canada based on spit (saliva). This oral HIV test is not available in Canada (yet), except as part of research studies like this one. We want to know what GBT2Q guys think about this test. The Get it Wet study will be done in combination with the upcoming Sex Now 2021 study.
HIV and STBBI Testing in Indigenous and Two-Spirit Communities in BC
This is one of several CBRC projects focused on the health of Indigenous people. We will continue our work with Indigenous and Two-Spirit community members in BC to co-create culturally appropriate STBBI testing options. We will engage directly with community members and local healthcare providers to integrate community member’s preferred testing options and linkage to care into existing services. We will work alongside Indigenous and Two-Spirit artists to develop promotional materials for a pilot testing project.
For more information on any of these projects, please contact Chris Draenos, RN (firstname.lastname@example.org), CBRC’s HIV and STBBI Testing and Linkage Implementation Manager.