Home Substantial portion Canada increases funding for HIV testing, including $8 million for self-test kits

Canada increases funding for HIV testing, including $8 million for self-test kits


Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos on Monday announced nearly $18 million to expand HIV testing in Canada, with a substantial portion of the funding going to self-administered kits.

Of the $17.9 million, $8 million will go to purchasing HIV self-test kits and distributing them to community organizations, Duclos said at the 24th International AIDS Conference in Montreal.

The remaining $9.9 million will go to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg for the expansion of HIV testing in northern, remote or isolated (NRI) communities.

“HIV self-testing kits offer people a safe, reliable and confidential way to test for HIV infection while significantly reducing barriers to care-seeking often created by stigma and discrimination,” a statement read. government press.

Health Canada approved the first HIV self-test in late 2020. It’s a one-minute finger-prick blood test from Richmond, BC, from bioLytical Laboratories Inc.

Duclos said the government was looking to apply lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to HIV/AIDS.

“We know that HIV is preventable, but the rate of HIV infections remains high in Canada and other countries. Providing individuals with access to testing, treatment and care can help reverse this trend.

“Breaking down barriers is the key to ending the AIDS pandemic.”

Ottawa urged to increase spending on HIV-AIDS

In October 2020, the federal government began providing free rapid tests to provinces and territories. For many Canadians, rapid antigen testing was replacing large-scale polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, as fewer people qualified for it due to high demand during the Omicron wave.

In June, CBC learned that Ottawa was set to end the distribution of rapid COVID-19 tests to provinces and territories by the end of the year.

The government estimates that there are nearly 63,000 people living with HIV in Canada, and 1 in 10 of them do not know they have the virus.

Prior to the Montreal conference, a coalition of HIV/AIDS organizations called on the government to increase annual federal spending on HIV/AIDS from $73 million to $100 million.

The government last week pledged $15 million to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

The five-day AIDS conference 2022 ends on Tuesday.