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Sexual Health

Point of Care (POC) HIV Testing

What is Point of Care (POC) Rapid HIV Testing?

  • POC Rapid HIV testing is a single use kit that detects the presence of HIV antibodies in your blood. These antibodies develop when you have come into contact with the HIV virus. 
  • This type of testing allows you to get your HIV status within a few minutes. Standard HIV testing must be done in a designated lab and results can take up to two weeks. 
  • POC Rapid HIV testing is done by a health care professional at the Sexual Health Clinic in Barrie and Orillia (starting January, 2019). You are provided with pre-test and post-test counseling, your test results, and any medical referrals you may need.

How do we test for HIV?

  • The POC Rapid HIV test consists of one finger prick to get a small blood sample which is tested for HIV antibodies.
  • There is always a control sample to ensure the test is accurate.

What to know before getting tested?

  • You must understand the implications of HIV testing procedures and results and provide Informed consent before any testing can occur.
  • The test is performed and results are provided in one session. Testing is confidential.

How to talk to a nurse or book an appointment for POC Rapid HIV Testing?

  • Call the health unit at 1-877-725-7520 or 705-721-7520 Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., to speak confidentially with a public health nurse or to book an appointment for confidential testing.

Before coming in to a sexual health clinic, read the following:

  • If you are experiencing any symptoms, please come to a drop-in clinic or call the health unit at 1-877-725-7520 or 705-721-7520 Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., to book an appointment.
  • Don't urinate for two hours before coming in to the drop-in clinic.
  • Space is limited and clients will be seen on a first come, first serve basis until the maximum number of clients that can be seen has been reached. 

A Non-Reactive Result

  • A non-reactive result means that no HIV antibodies were found in your blood.
  • It can take up to three months following any exposure to the HIV virus for antibodies to be detected by POC Rapid HIV testing.  This is referred to as the "window period". 
  • If you receive a non-reactive result during the window period, it is recommended to get re-tested at a later date.  However, if you also have symptoms of HIV, blood should be drawn immediately for confirmatory testing.

A Reactive Result

  • A reactive result occurs when HIV antibodies are present in your blood.
  • Upon a reactive result, you are asked to give a venous blood sample to send to a designated lab for confirmatory testing. 

An Invalid Result

  • An invalid result occurs if there was a problem with the sample or the test device. The test must be repeated with a new sample and test device.
  • An invalid result cannot be interpreted as reactive or non-reactive.
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