When it comes to testing, you have choices.
Whether you’re getting tested every 3 months, every 12 months, after a risk event, or at the start of a new relationship, you can find a sexual health clinic to meet your needs.
STI Clinics and HIM Health Centres
In British Columbia, STI clinics and HIM’s Health Centres are well-equipped to meet gay men’s testing needs. They have access to the latest HIV & STI testing technologies, and generally have experience with gay men’s sexual health issues.
The HIM Health Centres in Vancouver (on Davie Street and Commercial Drive) offer dedicated testing and counselling services that are tailored for gay men and other men who have sex with men. The new HIM Health Centres in New Westminster and in Surrey also offer tailored testing services for gay men and other men who have sex with men, but currently do not offer counselling services.
Testing with your doctor
You may also opt to test at your family doctor’s office. You should know that not all HIV tests are available through your family doctor, and not all doctors are familiar with the new testing guidelines. If you’re going to test with your family doctor, be sure that you know your number (3 or 12), and be prepared to ask specifically for an Early test (sometimes called a NAAT or RNA test) if you’ve had a risk event recently.
Types of tests
There are currently three types of HIV tests available in British Columbia. For more information on the types of tests offered, click here. Not all clinics or doctor’s offices offer the same tests.
If you have a high-risk event (broken condom, condomless anal sex with a partner whose HIV status you aren’t sure of), get tested right away. Find a clinic by using this page, or get in touch with your family doctor. Don’t delay.