If your HIV self-test result is negative

If you live in Manitoba and your test results are negative, call Nine Circles Community Health Centre (CHC), in Winnipeg at 204-940-6000 or toll-free at 1-888-305-8647, or your healthcare provider for help to connect to prevention services. These include PrEP, PEP and harm reduction. You can also contact your healthcare provider or Nine Circles for information about sexual health, additional testing for other sexually transmitted infections, or for help with finding local primary healthcare providers or community-based organizations.

If you are anxious or in mental distress and need support, call Klinic Crisis Line (24/7) at (204) 786-8686 or toll-free at 1-888-322-3019.

Accessing PrEP in Manitoba

Contact Nine Circles Community Health Centre in Winnipeg: 204-940-6000 or toll-free: 1-888-305-8647 for more information on accessing PrEP.

What is PrEP?

  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is an HIV prevention medication for those who are HIV-negative and are at risk of contracting HIV. If taken correctly, this daily medication can reduce the risk of contracting HIV by up to 99%.
  • Approved by Health Canada, PrEP works by using a combination of antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV from establishing a hold in your body. It requires a prescription from a physician or a nurse practitioner.

More about PrEP

  • PrEP should be used together with other prevention strategies like condoms. PrEP does not prevent other STI’s and blood-borne infections.
  • PrEP requires daily adherence to the medication and HIV/STI testing, urine and blood work monitoring every three months.
  • There are potential side effects to PrEP, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and dizziness. There is also a risk of damaging your liver, kidney and bone health and developing drug resistance if a person becomes infected with HIV while taking PrEP.

Accessing PEP in Manitoba

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a way to help prevent HIV from being transmitted to an HIV-negative person who may have been exposed to the virus. You must start PEP within 72 hours of being exposed.

This is different from pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which you start taking before and continue taking after being exposed to HIV.

If you think you need PEP, go to your nearest emergency department right away or contact Nine Circles Community Health Centre in Winnipeg at 204-940-6000 or toll-free at 1-888-305-8647 for more information.

If your HIV self-test result is positive

If you test positive for HIV through an HIV self-test, it is important to pursue laboratory confirmatory testing for HIV as soon as possible. Confirmatory HIV testing is important because it can give you certainty about the test result and access to HIV treatment. In Manitoba, Nine Circles supports the Manitoba HIV program referral process to ensure everyone living with HIV in Manitoba has access to the care and support that they need.

People with HIV can live long healthy lives if they access treatment. Please see the Manitoba HIV program website and the CATIE website for more information and support. The Klinic Crisis Line is also available to support you if you are feeling anxious or are in emotional distress, at (204) 786-8686 or toll-free at 1-888-322-3019

About HIV confirmatory testing

You should see a healthcare provider as soon as possible to tell them that your result was positive so you can get the information and support you need to take care of your health. The self-test you took is a highly accurate screening test, however all HIV self-test positive results need to be confirmed by a lab test that your healthcare provider can order to give you a formal HIV diagnosis.

While there is no cure for HIV, HIV is treatable and people with HIV on treatment can live long, healthy lives. The medications used to treat HIV are called antiretrovirals. They prevent the virus from replicating and slow the disease’s progress. Starting antiretroviral therapy early can lower the virus in you to an undetectable level so that you can stay healthy, and so that you can’t transmit the virus to others. 

Access to HIV confirmatory testing in Manitoba can take place through a Family Physician or Nurse Practitioner, at a clinic, nursing station or at a walk-in clinic. Find services on the Government of Manitoba website.

About HIV treatment and care

Access to HIV treatment in Manitoba can take place through a Family Physician or other healthcare provider. You can be referred by a healthcare provider to the Manitoba HIV Program, which provides information, specialized care, treatment and support to over 1400 people living with HIV across the province. The Program has two Winnipeg-based sites: Nine Circles Community Health Centre at the Health Sciences Centre outpatient clinic, and one site in the Prairie Mountain Health Region at Brandon 7th Street Access.

If your HIV self-test result is invalid

If the HIV self-test results are invalid (i.e. have no visible control dot), this means that the test did not work. If this happens, you should:

  • Repeat the self-test with a new test kit and pay close attention to the instructions for use to ensure that the test procedure is conducted correctly. I’m Ready, Talk peer navigators can also guide you through the testing procedure if you are an I’m Ready research program participant.
  • You can call Health Links – Info Santé at 204-788-8200 in Winnipeg or from elsewhere in Manitoba toll-free 1-888-315-9257 for information on HIV testing options.
  • You can visit any sexual health clinic, Family Physician or walk-in clinic to find out about other HIV testing options such as laboratory-based or point of care testing.

Sexual health and other STI services in Manitoba

Whether a person tests positive or negative through HIV self-testing, it is important to test for other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs), including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and/or hepatitis C. In Manitoba:

About Harm Reduction Services in Manitoba

In Winnipeg

  • For a full list of harm reduction services in Winnipeg, please see the Street Connections website
  • You can also call Street Connections (Winnipeg Regional Health Authority) at 204-981-0742
  • Reach Nine Circles Community Health Centre at 204-940-6000 or check out their website
  • Find out about the Manitoba Harm Reduction Network on their website or call them at 204-783-6184
  • Health Links – Info Santé* at 204-788-8200 can also help with harm reduction

Outside of Winnipeg

  • Learn about the Manitoba Harm Reduction Network on their website or call them at 204-783-6184
  • In Brandon, Manitoba, get in touch with the Health Access Centre,* at 20 – 7th Street and by telephone at 204-578-4800.
  • Health Links – Info Santé* at 204-788-8200 can also help with harm reduction

For rural, remote and northern communities, connect with your local public health office or local harm reduction network to find out what’s available to you in your area.

*Services available in French