In an effort to make HIV testing as routine and accessible as possible, AIDS Vancouver Island in Courtenay will host a Blood Blitz testing day.
HIV testing is being made available to everyone on the day before Valentine’s Day.
The Blood Blitz Testing Day will take place Thursday, Feb. 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Courtenay offices of AIDS Vancouver Island (355 Sixth St. in Courtenay).
The event will offer the so-called rapid HIV test, which allows HIV test results in fewer than 60 seconds.
“Being able to provide an HIV test result in 60 seconds greatly reduces the anxiety people feel about waiting to get their results. We can offer the test and offer support all in one visit,” says Sarah Sullivan, a key event organizer and support worker at AIDS Vancouver Island in Courtenay.
The initiative is in line with the goals of the provincial government’s supported STOP HIV Project, which aims to seek HIV infection through increased testing and connect people to treatment if they are infected with the HIV virus.
“The sooner people are tested, the sooner they can be connected to treatment, if needed. We know that once people are on treatment, they are less likely to transmit the virus,” says Katrina Jensen, executive director of AIDS Vancouver Island.
AIDS Vancouver Island hopes with more people getting tested, they can meet the goals of the UNAIDS, which is to get to zero new HIV infections by 2015.
— AIDS Vancouver Island