HIV Testing Day was officially recognized across Saskatchewan on Wednesday in an effort to support HIV prevention, education, and treatment. Having a day designated to HIV testing is an important part of helping increase people’s awareness of the importance of HIV testing and encourages all of us to find out our HIV status.
Deanna Bartok, HIV strategy co-ordinator with Public Health in Yorkton, and Aaron Kienle, city council member and deputy mayor, proclaim June 27 HIV testing day in Yorkton.
“Testing has become much more accessible and we encourage everyone to include HIV testing as a regular part of their health-care routine,” said Deanna Bartok, HIV strategy co-ordinator with Public Health in Yorkton for the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA). “We hope that HIV Testing Day will make it easier for both care providers and the public to broach the topic of routine HIV testing.”
According to Health Canada, an estimated one in five people living with HIV in Canada don’t know they have an HIV infection. The only way to know for sure is to get tested. Anyone can potentially be affected by HIV regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or ethnic origin.
The outlook for people diagnosed with HIV has significantly improved over the past two decades and it is no longer considered a terminal illness. Early detection and treatment is imperative in helping HIV positive individuals live healthy lives and reduce the risk of passing the disease along to others.
Flo Mingo gets tested for HIV in downtown Regina Wednesday as part of the event.
Kendra Giles gets tested for HIV in downtown Regina Wednesday as part of the event.
Testing was offered throughout June at sites around the province . Events were held at Kawactoose First Nation, Waterhen Lake First Nation, Pelican Narrows, Prince Albert, Regina, Kamsack, La Ronge, Sandy Bay, Saskatoon and Yorkton.
Point-of-care testing for HIV is available from your health care provider. Testing can be requested as part of routine blood work during regular medical clinic visits; routine testing for HIV regardless of perceived risk, helps remove the stigma and normalizes the need for testing.
For more provincial information on HIV Testing Day, visit the SK HIV Collaborative webpage at