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Second ‘Blood Blitz’ in Campbell River aims to normalize HIV testing
In an effort to make HIV testing as routine and accessible as possible, AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI) in Campbell River is partnering with Island Health and Positive Wellness North Island, to host the “2nd Blood Blitz” Testing day with HIV tests and sexually transmitted infection tests being made available to everyone.
The Blood Blitz Testing Day will take place on Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as part of AVI and Island Health’s partnership program, at the Campbell River office of AVI (1371 Unit C, Cedar Street)
The event will feature point of care tests, which include the Rapid HIV test, with results available in less than 60 seconds, as well as pre- and post-test couseling.
“Offering the 60 second tests, greatly reduces the anxiety people feel about waiting to get their results. We can offer the test and offer support all in one visit. We’re hoping people will visit us for the Blood Blitz and see how easy getting tested can be. For those who may have attended our first event, this is an opportunity to come in and get tested again,” says Leanne Wingert, key event organizer and support worker at AVI in Campbell River.
The initiative is in line with the goals of the provincial government’s supported STOP HIV Project, which seeks out HIV infection through increased testing and connects people to treatment, if they are infected with the HIV virus.
“The more people we can get tested, the more people we can get connected to treatment. Once people are on treatment, they are less likely to transmit the virus”, says Katrina Jensen, executive director of AIDS Vancouver Island. The 2nd Blood Blitz is aiming to provide a variety of STI tests, along with the HIV tests.
In 2012 there was the lowest number of new HIV infections recorded in British Columbia.