Express Testing at HIM on Davie!
By Simon Rayek - Manager, Health Promotion, HIM
Located in the heart of Vancouver’s gay village, Health Initiative for Men’s (HIM) Davie Health Centre is the busiest of our five health centres. HIV/STBBI testing appointments are booked nearly a month in advance and walk-in slots fill up minutes into the beginning of any given day’s operations. In light of this huge demand, Health Initiative for Men and our partners at Vancouver Coastal Health have developed Express Testing. Express Testing is an innovative process for HIV/STBBI testing that we hope will lead to a substantial increase in the number of GBT2Q men we’re able to serve on a daily basis.
Many people attending HIM’s Davie Health Centre are routine testers who do not need to see a nurse for questions, counseling or other concerns but still face long waiting times. Express Testing allows these community members access to streamlined testing that does not include a consultation with a nurse. At the HIM on Davie Health Centre, Express Testers collect their own urine and anal swab samples and deposit them to a lab technician who collects their blood samples for an RNA/NAAT test. The lab technician is not able to answer any questions about HIV risk or STIs or provide a rapid HIV test. In all, Express Testing takes less than 15 minutes.
Routine testers must qualify for Express Testing as there are some functions that only nurses can provide such as dispensing medication for symptoms, administering vaccines or setting up referrals for PrEP. By increasing the daily capacity by approximately eight timeslots with Express Testing, the HIM Health Centre on Davie will be able to serve 30 community members per day. Moreover, this increased capacity allows for nurses to spend more time with clients who have questions or concerns about their sexual risk, or to provide services like vaccinations, nPEP or PrEP.
For more information on Express Testing and the HIM on Davie Health Centre, please go to: https://checkhimout.ca/express-testing/