Some potential activities for community-based organizations could include:
- Conducting point-of-care tests;
- Promoting awareness of HIV self-testing and encouraging frequent and regular use by those who may be infected with HIV;
- Distributing HIV self-tests;
- Being an HIV testing information source for people in your community (including to people who have not accessed your services previously). For example, this might include supporting a client who received a self-test from somewhere else; explaining the need for a confirmatory HIV tests for diagnosis if a self-test is positive; demonstrating how tests are used for those who need help; providing pre- and post-test counselling; and potentially supervising self-tests;
- Assisting those who are interested to navigate the appropriate resources and follow-up;
- Supporting people who have a negative test in their service delivery region to connect to prevention (i.e., harm reduction, PrEP, etc) and ongoing testing supports;
- Supporting people who have a positive test in their service delivery region to connect to care and/or access community-based services, like peer navigators for the newly diagnosed for people living with HIV and/or people living with hepatitis C; health care providers; and
- Supporting quality control of self-test kits.
After a person has completed testing, there is a very important role an agency can play in providing referrals to testing clinics for confirmatory testing, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) or Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) services, and/or other services as appropriate. For more information on PrEP and to determine who would be a good candidate for PrEP, visit our Care pathways pages.
It is important to offer support to people choosing to take the test and to remind them that if their result is positive, people living with HIV who receive care and treatment continue to live long healthy lives. You can learn more about the appropriate messages and information to share with someone who has just tested, depending on their test results, on our Pre and post-test counselling pages.