Island Health introduces online testing for STIs, HIV

Victoria residents now have a new, more private way to get checked for sexually-transmitted infections and HIV.

Victoria residents now have a new, more private way to get checked for sexually-transmitted infections and HIV.

GetCheckedOnline is the first online service in Canada where residents in Victoria, Langford and Duncan can acccess confidential online testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syhpilis, HIV and hepatitis C.

Traditionally, patients must go to a doctor, walk-in clinic or a sexually-transmitted infection clinic to get tested for such infections.

As part of the pilot project between the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, Island Health and LifeLabs, patients can now create an account, answer a sexual history questionnaire and print a laboratory requisition for testing.

Users then to go a participating LifeLabs location to give specimens and are notified by email when their results are ready.

If results are negative, they can be viewed online. Patients with positive or inconclusive results will be contacted by a nurse to arrange follow-up and appropriate treatment.

“What it does is allow the individual to request testing from the privacy of their own home,” said Sophie Bannar-Martin, regional manager of STOP HIV and bloodborne diseases with Island Health, adding it adds confidentiality to a sensitive topic, especially among younger generations.

“It provides another opportunity within a broader constellation of testing services for people to access testing in a way that feels more suitable, relevant and comfortable for them.”

According to Dr. Dee Hoyano, medical health officer with Island Health, sexually-transmitted infections such as chlamydia and syphilis are on the rise on Vancouver Island and across Canada within the last 10 years.

“With syphilis in particular, it’s a recent growth in B.C. particularly with men who have sex with men. Chlamydia rates are more general but they do tend to affect younger adults,” Hoyano said, adding technologies have improved leading to more people being properly tested and diagnosed.

“It’s important that people are getting tested and treated so that they’re not getting ill from it and spreading it on to others.”

In 2014, there were 259 cases per 100,000 of people with chlamydia in the south Island and 5.6 cases per 100,000 of people with syphilis.

GetCheckedOnline began on the Mainland and saw 986 accounts created, which led to 456 people getting tested and 12 positive diagnoses from September 2014 to February 2016.

For more information visit getcheckedonline.com.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Photo by Mojpe/Pixabay)
Canadian kids extracting record amount from Tooth Fairy

Our neighbours in the U.S. receive slightly less from Tooth Fairy visits

Downed trees account for the majority of power outages, according to BC Hydro, which plans to spend more money on tree pruning and hazardous tree removal in coming years in the face of changing weather and growing patterns caused by climate change. (Photo courtesy of the City of Langford)
BC Hydro says safety guides tree removal policy

Crown corporation says it will work with property owners wherever possible

Summer camps held by SEAPARC in Sooke and by West Shore Parks and Recreation are gearing up for a playful season. (SEAPARC photo)
Sooke, West Shore summer camps prepping to welcome youngsters

Registration opening for both day and week-long camps

A photograph of the real firearm beside the replica firearm seized by VicPD in the early hours of April 18. (Courtesy VicPD)
Police seize loaded firearm, drugs during traffic stop in Victoria

Officers find cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl along with loaded handgun

Sidney council approved a broad package of tax relief measures, but concerns about its timing and effectiveness remain. (Black Press Media File).
President of cannabis company considers legal action against Sidney

Sidney already lost one legal action by another cannabis retailer in summer 2020

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Most Read