Programming Connection

Anonymous HIV Testing Program  

Options Clinic, London InterCommunity Health Centre
London, Ontario

Why Was the Program Developed?

Options Clinic’s outreach HIV prevention, testing and counselling services were developed to increase HIV prevention, testing and diagnosis rates in London, Ontario, and surrounding areas among at-risk populations. Because at-risk populations—gay men, youth, Aboriginal people, people who use injection drugs and people from countries where HIV is endemic—are sometimes also less likely to access services in clinical settings than the general population, Options Clinic developed a series of outreach clinics to meet clients in community-based organizations that they were already accessing for services. These include a youth drop-in centre, a bathhouse, a needle exchange site and clinics specifically for university students and Aboriginal people. The goal was to reduce barriers between HIV testing and clients in the community.

The Anonymous HIV Testing Program was also developed to increase the reach of anonymous HIV testing in and around London. Clients who access anonymous testing do not identify themselves, do not show identification and will not have their tests linked to their names. This is significant for people who want to know their HIV status but wish to remain unknown to the healthcare provider and the healthcare system.