Programming Connection

Anonymous HIV Testing Program  

Options Clinic, London InterCommunity Health Centre
London, Ontario
2014

What is the program?

The Anonymous HIV Testing Program in London, Ontario, provides HIV prevention, testing and counselling services to at-risk populations on an outreach basis in and around the city. The program, coordinated by the London InterCommunity Health Centre’s Options Clinic, is staffed by two HIV counsellors. HIV testing and counselling services are offered in various locations across London and in the surrounding counties of Perth, Lambton, Huron, Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford. Options Clinic is one of 50 sites across Ontario that offers anonymous HIV testing.

The program has offered access to HIV prevention, testing and counselling services since 1993. In 2007, the Anonymous HIV Testing Program started providing rapid HIV testing using the INSTI HIV-1/HIV-2 rapid antibody test in addition to standard blood-draw testing. However, the counsellors have performed only a few tests using the standard blood test since the rapid test was introduced.

Options Clinic leverages the long-standing relationships that other community-based organizations have with their clients to offer low-barrier HIV prevention, testing and counselling services in venues that are more comfortable and more accessible for clients than Options Clinic’s fixed site. Through its partnerships with these organizations, Options Clinic has developed its own reputation among populations at risk for HIV.