Emergency Department HIV Testing
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​As of December 10, 2018, an HIV test may be included in bloodwork done in the Emergency Department.

Why include an HIV test for everyone?

  • It’s important to know your HIV status because people with HIV often have no symptoms for many years.
  • Many people diagnosed with HIV in the Interior Health region are diagnosed in the late stages of the disease.
  • If you are HIV positive, your health may be affected and the virus can spread to other people.
  • Early treatment can control the virus and allow your immune system to rebuild itself.

An HIV blood test is simple. It can be done with all your other blood tests in the hospital.

Don't want an HIV test in the hospital?

Health outreach nurses also provide discreet, confidential, and non-judgmental HIV testing. Please advise a nurse or doctor in the emergency department of your wishes.

How do I get my results?

There is no additional follow up for people who test negative – you will not be called or informed of your negative result. If you wish to confirm your negative result, you can phone 1-866-778-7736 for results two weeks after the test occurs. Please do not call the emergency department where you had your testing done; they will not have your test results.

If you are positive for HIV and your test result comes back while you are in the hospital, your doctor will tell you. You will then be connected to an Interior Health outreach nurse. If your test result comes back after you have left the hospital, an Interior Health outreach nurse will call you, typically within 5-14 days. Interior Health outreach nurses will be able to link you to support, education, follow-up care, and referral to a physician if you don’t have one.

The test is not able to detect very early HIV infection. If you think you may have been exposed to HIV in the last six weeks, tell your health-care provider.

Resources

 

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