HIV testing is free, easy, and available wherever you access health care.
There are many ways to get an HIV test. Say “yes” if you are offered one by your health-care provider, or request a test during your next doctor’s appointment.
An HIV test can also be confidential and anonymous through a health outreach nurse. If you do not feel comfortable visiting a local clinic or asking your doctor for an HIV test, health outreach nurses are available across the Interior Health region to provide discreet, confidential, and non-judgmental HIV testing.
Call 1-866-778-7736 to arrange a test with a health outreach nurse today.
Types of HIV Testing and Reporting
Your Privacy is Your Right
In BC, there are a number of ways that you can get an HIV test. You can provide as much personal information as you are comfortable giving when you receive an HIV test.
You can use your full name and give a way to be reached (address, phone number, email). If positive, your result is reported to public health using your name and contact information. This is called nominal reporting.
You can test using your full name and give your contact information to your health care provider, but ask that the test be reported to public health without using your name. Your provider will indicate this on the laboratory form. If positive, your result is reported to public health using your initials, and no contact information is shared. This is called non-nominal reporting.
Anonymous HIV testing is different from other types of HIV testing because your name, alias or initials are not attached to your result and your contact information is never collected. Instead, you are given a testing code number that only you know.
When your HIV test result is ready, the health-care provider will not be able to contact you, so it is your responsibility to call or return to the clinic to get your result. You must provide your testing code number to get your result.
In the Interior Health region you can receive an anonymous HIV test from a health outreach nurse. Health outreach nurses are available in your area to meet you and provide discreet, anonymous, and non-judgmental HIV testing.
HIV is a reportable infection in B.C., which means that positive HIV test results are reported to public health so that support can be provided to the person who has tested positive. With an anonymous HIV test, the result is reported to public health using only a numbered code. If you test anonymously and your result is positive, you can still get support and treatment. When you decide to get treatment, you will need to get another HIV test using your real name to confirm your status. If your anonymous HIV test is negative, no further follow up will be needed.
No matter what option you choose, all HIV testing in British Columbia is confidential. If your HIV test is positive then support and treatment are available for you.
Get Tested Online (Kamloops and Nelson residents)
A confidential and convenient HIV testing alternative is available for people living in or near Kamloops and Nelson. It’s the first online testing program of its kind in Canada for these two cities. Getting checked online means you can be tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) without visiting a doctor or nurse. This is a great testing option if you aren’t comfortable visiting your family doctor or can’t get to a clinic for testing.
Testing is easy. Visit getcheckedonline.com, create an account, answer a confidential sexual history questionnaire, and then print a lab requisition for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and if needed hepatitis C testing. Visit a participating LifeLabs location to provide specimens, and get notified of your results via email. If the results are negative, these can be viewed online. Individuals with inconclusive or positive test results will be contacted by a BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) nurse to arrange for appropriate follow-up.
Users can get direct access to the system by clicking here getcheckedonline.com.
Internet-based testing for HIV and STIs is a new approach to sexual health testing. getcheckedonline.com has been developed to meet a growing need for easier access to STI testing in BC.
On Demand HIV Testing (Okanagan Valley residents)
If you wish to have an HIV test, you can now ask for one without a requisition at all Valley Medical Laboratories locations in the Okanagan, from Vernon to Osoyoos.
Simply tell the receptionist you are there for an HIV test or ask the lab technician to include the HIV test with your other blood work. You can also print a requisition from the Valley Medical Laboratories website and bring it with you to the lab.
If you are negative for HIV, you will NOT be contacted by the lab and the lab will not have your results. You can phone toll-free to 1.866.778.7736 to request your results two weeks after your lab test.
If you are positive for HIV, you will receive a phone call from an Interior Health nurse. The nurse will provide support, education and follow-up care and will help to connect you with a doctor if you don’t have one.
Contact A Health Outreach Nurse
When you decide what type of testing is best for you, a health outreach nurse is available across the Interior Health region to provide discreet, confidential, and non-judgmental HIV testing.
Call 1-866-778-7736 to arrange a test today.
Not all health-care providers or clinics offer all HIV testing options. Before testing, talk to your health-care provider about your choices so you can decide which option is best for you.
To learn more about HIV, HIV testing and treatment please visit our Campaign and Resources page.
Find a clinic or local resources by visiting our Interior Health Resource Map page.
To learn more about HIV testing throughout British Columbia visit Smart Sex Resource