This STI and HIV testing program within Interior Health communities has been deemed a success

Online STI and HIV testing reduces barriers, reaches more people in Interior Health

A first of its kind online testing program has been successfully reaching those seeking testing for sexually-transmitted infections and blood borne diseases.

In partnership with Interior Health and LifeLabs, the BC Centre for Disease Control’s online testing program expanded to two Interior Health communities in 2016: Nelson and Kamloops. Now an evaluation shows the program is effectively reaching those who have faced barriers to testing in the past, as well as those at higher risk of infection and first-time testers.

GetCheckedOnline allows participants to print a lab form, then go to a participating LifeLabs site to give samples and get results online or over the phone, skipping doctors visits along the way.

“An individual’s sexual health can be neglected based on shame, embarrassment, or inconvenience. But if Sexually Transmitted Infections are not identified and treated they can result in serious health concerns,” said Maja Karlsson, HIV and Health Outreach Manager, Interior Health.

“The results of this evaluation clearly underscore the value of this free and convenient online testing service, particularly for those at increased risk.”

READ MORE: MEN IN SMALLER CITIES RELUCTANT TO TEST FOR HIV

GetCheckedOnline is an internet-based service that allows people to test for sexually-transmitted and blood borne infections without needing to visit a doctor, and to get their results online.

The program first launched in 2014 in Vancouver and is the first provincial program of its kind in Canada. In 2016, GetCheckedOnline was expanded to Kamloops and Nelson within Interior Health, as well as Victoria, Langford and Duncan on Vancouver Island. The communities were selected to include a cross-section of rural and urban communities.

READ MORE: BC GOVERNMENT TO FUND HIV PREVENTION DRUG

An evaluation of the first 18-months shows GetCheckedOnline has been successful in Interior Health. In a survey, 100 per cent of GetCheckedOnline clients in Interior Health were satisfied or very satisfied with their testing experience and 96 per cent said they would use the service again. Other results show:

  • 590 individuals in IH have tested with GetCheckedOnline during this 18-month period.
  • 21 per cent of all positive diagnoses through GetCheckedOnline were from Interior Health.
  • 20 per cent reported it was their first time testing.
  • GetCheckedOnline is reaching those in Interior Health who have a higher risk of infection:
  • 42 per cent reported having condomless sex;
  • 16 per cent reported having four-or-more sexual partners;
  • 13 per cent reported having a previous STI diagnosis in the past year.

Research showed that before using GetCheckedOnline, clients had experienced challenges such as long wait times for appointments, difficulty getting to a clinic, shame around testing, or fear of judgement from health-care providers, when accessing traditional testing.

“GetCheckedOnline helps people take control of their sexual health,” said Dr. Mark Gilbert, GetCheckedOnline’s medical lead with the BCCDC. “There are a number of reasons why people don’t test – it could be clinic hours or wait times, stigma, or embarrassment talking about sex with their doctor. GetCheckedOnline helps break down those barriers and makes it easier for people to test.”

The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty and province-wide health care services across BC, working with the five geographic health authorities to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit www.phsa.ca or follow us on Twitter @PHSAofBC.

To report a typo, email:
edit@kelownacapnews.com
.

 

Just Posted

Vehicle stolen after break-in at Lake Country home

RCMP are asking the public for any information about the whereabouts of the vehicle

Traffic backed up Northbound on Highway 97

Plan an alternate route if possible

Okanagan Boys and Girls Club’s youth program receives $50,000 grant

The Home Depot Canada Foundation gave the grant to support a housing project for youth

Regional District of Central Okanagan Holiday closures

The office will be closed from Dec. 25 to Jan. 1

‘Are we going to play?’ Alberta boy with rare illness no big deal for classmates

Porter Stanley is one of 30 people in the world to be diagnosed with Beare-Stevenson syndrome, a craniofacial disorder.

Publication ban on name of girl killed in Abbotsford school lifted

Reimer’s family had supported an application by Black Press to lift ban

Family saved but pets lost in Shuswap house fire

Firefighters manage to extinguish the blaze but a cat and dog perished

B.C. securities regulator probes ‘most expansive’ alleged trading scheme in its history

Liht Cannabis Corp states it’s doing internal investigation, welcomes BC Securities Commission probe

Air passenger rights: 6 things about what the Liberals are offering

For 3- to 6-hour delays, compensation is $400. Between 6 and 9 hours, $700. Over 9 hours is $1,000

RCMP, civilian vehicles rammed in North Okanagan incident

Police attempt to stop truck near Enderby, thought to be tied to alleged Salmon Arm armed robbery

New biker gang with ties to Hells Angels crops up in Lower Mainland

The Street Reapers were formed late last year and have been seen in Fort Langley.

10-lane George Massey bridge too big, B.C. study says

Consultants say replacement tunnel cost similar to new bridge

Couple caught up in B.C. Legislature bomb plot to learn their fate

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were arrested as part of an undercover RCMP sting on Canada Day 2013

Most Read