If your HIV self-test result is negative
Was your HIV self-test result negative? This result means that you probably do not have HIV.
It can take several weeks for HIV to show up in blood after contact with HIV. The test is really only accurate the day you take it. To make sure, take another test in three months.
Tested negative? You are still at risk. After your negative test, you can still get HIV. If you have used injection drugs, shared drug materials, or had unprotected sex, make sure you get an HIV test within 3 months of the risk.
Get Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in Saskatchewan
PrEP is a way to prevent HIV by taking a pill every day. PrEP is for people who do not have HIV but who are at very high risk of getting HIV.
To find a PrEP clinic in Saskatchewan, visit the Saskatchewan HIV Collaborative’s PrEP clinic listings. You can also see their collection of resources about PrEP for more information.
Get Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) in Saskatchewan
PEP is medication that can stop you from getting HIV if you might have been in contact with the HIV virus. This medication is often given if someone is sexually assaulted or has a needle stick injury. PEP medication needs to be taken within 3 days of being exposed to HIV. If you think you need PEP, go to your nearest emergency department right away.
If your HIV self-test result is positive
If your result is positive, you likely have HIV. This will need to be confirmed with another test. This is called confirmatory HIV testing. You can contact a Doctor, Nurse Practitioner, Nurse or Pharmacist to discuss next steps.
About HIV confirmatory testing
Confirmatory HIV testing is a second HIV test. Blood will be taken from a vein for this test. This second test will help you know for sure if you have HIV. It will also help you to get treatment.
Getting a diagnosis is important so that you can get treatment. People with HIV can live long, healthy lives if they get treatment. Medications can also help people with HIV be less likely to give HIV to someone else.
Where to get confirmatory testing in Saskatchewan
You can get tested at a sexual health clinic, health centre, walk-in clinic or through a Doctor, Nurse Practitioner or Nurse. Some community organizations also offer testing. You can talk to your regular health care provider about confirmatory testing.
Getting your results can take up to 2 weeks. They will be sent to the healthcare provider who performed the test.
What if my confirmatory HIV test is positive?
If you test positive for HIV, your healthcare professional will call you. Your positive result will be kept confidential. No one will know about your results unless you tell them.
All positive HIV test results are sent to the local Medical Health Officer. A Nurse will be in contact with you. It is important that your past and current sexual or drug using partners get tested for HIV.
You can tell your contacts, or the public health Nurse can. If the Nurse does, your contacts will be offered a test but will not know that you have tested positive. The public health Nurse will also talk to you about telling future sexual and drug use partners.
If your self-test result is invalid
If a dot does not show up on your test, it is invalid. This means that the test did not work.
What are some choices if my self-test is invalid?
- Take the self-test again using a new test kit. Make sure you follow the instructions.
- Call Health Line 811 for information on other HIV testing options.
- Go to a sexual health clinic, doctor, health centre, walk-in clinic, or your healthcare provider to find out about other HIV testing options.
- Go to HIV411.ca or call 211 to find HIV testing locations near you
Where to find HIV treatment and care
HIV is treatable. If you test positive for HIV, treatment is important. People with HIV can live long and healthy lives. Ask your doctor or healthcare provider questions. They will help you understand HIV and HIV treatment. Supports are also available through community organizations. To find treatment and support services near you, go to www.hiv411.ca.
You can also contact a clinic:
- In Saskatoon
- In Prince Albert
- In Regina
- Infectious Diseases Clinic, Regina General Hospital (306) 766-3915
Sexual health and other STBBI testing services
If you had reason to take an HIV test, you may also want to get tested for hepatitis C and sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
You can get these tests a sexual health clinic, public health office, walk-in clinic, medical clinic, or through a doctor, nurse practitioner or nurse. Some community organizations also offer testing.
Harm reduction services in Saskatchewan
Harm reduction services helps stop the spread of HIV, hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections. Harm reduction programs provide drug use supplies to people, like needles, sterile water, tourniquets (ties), spoons/cookers, alcohol swabs, filters, crack and crystal meth smoking kits and sharps containers. This helps people not have to share equipment. These programs also give out condoms and some can help you get Naloxone to take home.
- To find harm reduction programs, visit the Saskatchewan HIV Collaborative’s listing of programs.
- To find somewhere to get Naloxone that you can take home, visit the Government of Saskatchewan’s directory of Take Home Naloxone program sites.