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Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit now offering at-home HIV testing kits

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The Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark District Health Unit has teamed up with GetaKit to offer residents over 16 in the region free at-home HIV self-test kits, aiming to enhance accessibility and privacy in HIV testing within the comfort of individuals’ homes.

The self-testing procedure involves a straightforward collection of a blood sample from a fingertip, subsequently analyzed for HIV antibodies using the provided testing device. Each kit includes comprehensive instructions and a dedicated contact number for any inquiries or concerns during the testing process.

Moreover, these HIV self-test kits encompass requisitions for other sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. The requisitions will be dispatched directly to individuals for subsequent testing at their local laboratories. Notably, this service is provided free of charge and does not mandate a health card for access. Residents are encouraged to complete an online risk assessment and register via GetaKit.

Acknowledging the significance of HIV testing, particularly with World AIDS Day approaching on Dec. 1, the health unit stresses the importance of increased testing accessibility, especially for equity-deserving populations.

Jennifer Adams, manager of clinical services at the health unit, expressed enthusiasm, stating, “We are delighted to offer this service to our residents. Our collaboration with GetaKit underscores our joint dedication to fostering healthier communities and empowering individuals to manage their health proactively.”

In addition to the self-test kits, the health unit hosts sexual health clinics across seven communities within the LGL area. These clinics provide a spectrum of services including STI testing, hormonal birth control options (pills, patches, vaginal ring, Depo Provera), emergency contraception (Plan B), and pregnancy testing, options counselling and referrals. Appointments for these clinics can be conveniently scheduled online via the Health Unit’s website.

For those ineligible for online appointments, booking can be done by calling 1-800-660-5853 or the specific clinic location number during the health unit’s operational hours from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Alternatively, appointments can be arranged by emailing areyousafe@healthunit.org, with responses guaranteed within two business days.

Residents seeking further information on sexual health are encouraged to visit the Health Unit’s website for comprehensive resources and guidance.

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