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Jane Greer Hassle Free Clinic HIV Test Conference June, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Jane Greer Hassle Free Clinic HIV Test Conference June, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Jane Greer Hassle Free Clinic HIV Test Conference June, 2013

2 HIV Test made available through Public Health Lab in November, 1985 Hassle Free Clinic, BC & VD and some community physicians start offering Anonymous Testing Toronto Public Health tells HFC to stop Anonymous Testing; Clinic refuses

3 Strong lobbying for AT from many activist and community groups, especially AIDS Action Now! 1991 – NDP Health Minister announces AT will be allowed at 8 designated sites 1992 – Provincial Program rolls out in January

4 Voluntary, fully informed by a human rights perspective Accompanied by quality pre and post test counselling and support (key)

5 Myth #1 Clients dont return for their results. With POC testing, virtually 100% of people receive their results Even before Point of Care testing, Hassle Free consistently had return rates of over 95% This rate has remained consistent with people returning to pick up confirmatory results under POC Testing

6 Myth #2 Anonymous testers dont engage in partner notification Our experience is that when people test positive, they are very concerned about telling people who may be at risk; even if it may have devastating consequences to them or their families We also know this based on the fact that many people come for testing because they have been informed by partners who have recently tested HIV positive.

7 Myth # 2 (continued) Issues for clients are complex in any test system; withdrawal of sex, emotional and/or financial support from current partners, threat of emotional or physical abuse These are not specific to AT, but AT may help people feel safe enough to navigate through these issues Loss of privacy (past partners are often past for a reason) Feel threatened about family issues, i.e. MSM, daycares, custody issues, etc. Support is what is needed

8 Myth #3 Anonymous Testers are often lost to follow up and dont seek treatment, care and support. Experience tells us almost all newly diagnosed people do seek primary care; they want to see a doctor ASAP. Again, good post test counselling can help people transition to care; we can tell them what to expect, what the tests mean, etc. Two post test counselling sessions helps with that transition

9 HIV is still surrounded by stigma, discrimination and increasingly, criminalization Essential for us to do everything possible to mitigate those fears to help people at risk come forward for testing We need to use every tool at our disposal to give strong prevention messages and encourage people to test AT is one very powerful tool

10 Its easy and fun to do! Thank you Jane Greer Hassle Free Clinic


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