HIV Testing in Saskatchewan

Aerial panoramic view of a bridge going over Saskatchewan River during a vibrant sunrise in the Fall Season. Taken in Saskatoon, SK, Canada.

In Saskatchewan, part of the public health commitment is to intensify the efforts to combat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Recognizing the critical role of early detection, Saskatchewan is making HIV testing accessible, confidential and, importantly, free for its residents.

This initiative is part of a broader strategy to reduce the incidence of HIV and AIDS and improve the quality of life for those living with the virus.

Free HIV testing clinics in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan boasts a network of clinics offering free HIV testing. These clinics are strategically located across the province to ensure that everyone has access to testing services without the barrier of cost. They provide a supportive and non-judgmental environment where you can receive counselling, testing and, if needed, referrals for treatment and support services.

Description
At Planned Parenthood Regina, their mission is to provide accessible, comprehensive, and confidential sexual health services to everyone in their community. They believe in the right to make informed choices about sexual health and well-being.

Address
2024-A Albert St
Regina, Saskatchewan
S4P 2T7

306 522 0902
https://www.plannedparenthoodregina.com

Description
AIDS Programs South Saskatchewan (APSS) has been helping men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS. We are a community-based non-profit registered charitable organization. Our goal is to provide those living with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C (HCV) and those at risk of contracting the virus, with relevant and current information and support services.

Address
1325 Albert St
Regina, Saskatchewan
S4R 2R6

306-924-8420
https://www.aidsprogramssouthsask.com/

Description
Serve people at-risk and affected by HIV and Hepatitis C by reducing discrimination and deaths, removing barriers, pursuing innovation and demonstrating evidence-based outcomes.

Address
1516 20th ST W
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7M 0Z6

306-242-5005
https://prairiehr.ca/

Description
Saskatoon Sexual Health is a non-profit organization located on Treaty Six Territory and the homeland of the Metis. We are proud to offer sexual and reproductive health education, advocacy, clinical and abortion services to Saskatoon and the surrounding area.

Address
213 Ave C S
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7M 1N3

306-244-7989
https://saskatoonsexualhealth.ca/

How to participate in free HIV testing

If you’re considering getting HIV testing, you can visit any of the free testing clinics without the need for a referral or an appointment. These clinics operate under strict confidentiality protocols to respect and protect the privacy of all clients.

HIV testing options in Saskatchewan

Private clinic

Private clinics offer HIV testing services, usually at a cost. These clinics provide confidential testing in a more personalized setting. If you prefer a private healthcare environment, this option may be beneficial for you.

Local Lab

Local laboratories also conduct HIV testing, although they mostly require a healthcare provider’s referral. This option works if you have already contacted your doctor and you prefer to have their testing done within a laboratory setting.

Scientist holding tube with blood sample and label HIV Test at table, closeup

Community clinic

Community clinics are at the forefront of the free HIV testing initiative in Saskatchewan. They’re accessible to everyone and often provide additional health services, including counselling and support groups for people living with HIV and AIDS.

At home

Recognizing the need for privacy and convenience, Saskatchewan has also embraced at-home HIV testing kits. These kits can be ordered online or picked up from certain clinics, allowing you to conduct the test in the privacy of your home.

At-home HIV test

The at-home HIV test is a groundbreaking option that has made testing more accessible and private than ever before. These tests are designed for ease of use, with clear instructions on how to collect a sample and interpret the results.

While at-home tests offer a high degree of privacy and convenience, you may want to follow up with a healthcare professional for confirmatory testing and counselling in the case of a positive result.

Frequently asked questions

Why get tested for HIV?

Getting tested for HIV is helpful for several reasons. First, early detection can significantly improve the effectiveness of treatment and reduce the virus’s impact on your health. Second, it decreases the likelihood of transmitting HIV to others. Third, testing also provides peace of mind and empowers people with knowledge about their health status.

Who should get tested for HIV?

Everyone should consider getting tested for HIV at least once as part of routine healthcare. However, those who engage in behaviours that increase their risk of exposure to HIV, such as unprotected sex or sharing needles, should get tested more frequently.

When should I be tested for HIV?

The timing for an HIV test can depend on potential exposure and individual circumstances. It’s recommended to get tested three to six weeks after a potential exposure event, as it takes time for the virus to be detectable by tests. Additionally, regular testing every three to six months is advised for those at higher risk.

What if I test positive for HIV?

Testing positive for HIV is undoubtedly life-changing, but HIV is a manageable condition with the right treatment and support. Saskatchewan offers comprehensive care for individuals diagnosed with HIV, including access to antiretroviral therapy, counselling and support groups. The key is to connect with healthcare providers as soon as possible to discuss the best course of action.

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