It’s now easier to get tested for the HIV (human immunodeficiency) virus for residents in the the Interior Health.
The agency is now providing On Demand testing at all IH laboratories.
Patients can visit any IH lab and get an HIV test without having to first visit their physician or nurse practitioner.
Patients can fill out a lab requisition on their own and take it to the lab, ask the lab for the test to be done, or ask to have the test added to existing bloodwork being ordered.
Health Minister Adrian Dix is pleased the tests are more accessible.
He says with early diagnosis and better treatment and care, HIV is a chronic, manageable condition.
On Demand HIV testing began in Interior Health in 2016 with an innovative partnership with Valley Medical Laboratories in the Okanagan. Based on the success of that program, Interior Health is excited to now be expanding the service across the region.
“Interior Health is committed to providing accessible and patient-centered care for people in ways that respect their dignity and privacy,” said Doug Cochrane, Interior Health Board Chair. “By eliminating barriers to testing, and enabling people to be tested on their own terms, we are making it easier for individuals who test positive for HIV to access the care they need.”
Early diagnosis is vital for treatment of HIV, but one in four people living with HIV don’t know it.