This past week, the provincial government announced that residents will now be able to test themselves for HIV.
Free self-test kits are being made available for residents at 23 locations throughout the province. The kits can also be purchased online directly from the manufacturer and delivered to a person’s home.
"We have seen the clear benefits of having quick and easy access to at home testing options," Health Minister Paul Merriman said. "Our government is proud to be able to provide this new option for anyone concerned about possible exposure to HIV. Beyond HIV self-testing, many options are now available to help Saskatchewan residents detect changes to their health with minimal time and effort - COVID-19 rapid tests, at-home pregnancy tests, blood sugar monitors and blood pressure cuffs."
The self-test kits, which can be done at home, are said to be able to provide preliminary results in just one minute.
Public distribution of the kits started in January, and it is said there has been a high uptake with over 70 of them being provided so far.
The provincial government recommends everyone between the ages of 13 and 70 should be tested for HIV every five years. Those who are sexually active, sharing drug-use equipment or pregnant should be tested more frequently.
Saskatchewan has the highest rate of HIV diagnoses in the country, according to the most recent data made available. The Saskatchewan Health Authority reports the rate of new cases of HIV in the province is 14.9 for every 100,000 people.