HIV self-test kits: They’re here! Now what?

Delivered in partnership by CATIE, REACH Nexus, CBRC and CAAN

In August 2022, the Government of Canada announced an $8 million investment for the purchase and distribution of HIV self-test kits through community-based organizations. These HIV self-tests are a low-barrier option that can increase uptake of HIV testing among people who may not otherwise access it.

Join us for a workshop series geared towards community-based organizations that distribute HIV self-test kits and support people who use them. You can register below for one or more sessions focused on a range of topics related to HIV self-testing.

These workshops will be conducted primarily in English, with English-French simultaneous interpretation. We welcome questions from participants in either English or French.

Workshop 1

HIV self-testing project: information for service providers

January 17, 2023 
1 to 2 p.m. EST  

This webinar will provide an overview of why HIV self-testing is important in Canada and the HIV self-test kit distribution initiative funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. It will also offer participants the chance to ask questions and find out how they can access HIV self-test kits for their clients and communities.


  • Discuss why HIV self-testing is important in Canada
  • Explain the national HIV self-test kit distribution program
  • Explain where HIV self-test kits are available across the country and where gaps remain
  • Understand pathways to care and support

Moderator: Shriya Hari, CATIE


  • Kristin MacLennan, REACH Nexus
  • Spencer Belanger, CBRC
  • Jorden Ironstar, Communities, Alliances and Networks (CAAN)
  • Audrey Pitou, CATIE


Workshop 2

HIV self-testing project: logistics and supply chain management for community-based organizations

January 19, 2023 
1 to 2 p.m. EST

Many organizations across the country are distributing HIV self-test kits through their networks. As organizations join this initiative, there are many questions about how to order the kits, what to do when they arrive, how to store them and more.

This workshop will introduce participants to HIV self-test kit distribution logistics and supply chain management, as well as provide time to ask questions.

Moderator: Shriya Hari, CATIE


  • Kristin MacLennan, REACH Nexus
  • Spencer Belanger, CBRC


Download slides

Workshop 3

HIV self-testing project: what, where and how

January 26, 2023 
1 to 2:30 p.m. EST  

This workshop will increase knowledge of HIV testing technologies and approaches to testing, as well as understanding of how HIV self-testing fits within the landscape of other testing approaches in Canada. Throughout this workshop, participants will learn about the importance of testing for HIV and related STBBIs, what testing technologies exist in Canada, as well as key considerations to support people throughout the testing process.

Moderator: Shriya Hari, CATIE


  • Rick Galli, REACH Nexus
  • Elder Albert McLeod


Workshop 4

HIV self-testing project: pre-test and post-test conversations

February 2, 2023 
1 to 2:30 p.m. EST

This workshop will provide an overview of the unique nature of HIV self-testing with regards to how organizations might approach pre- and post-test counseling in the context of HIV self-test kit distribution. It will also outline how peer supports may form an integral component of the HIV self-testing process, linkage to care, and treatment. 


  • Discuss how pre- and post-test conversations can take place in the context of HIV self-testing 
  • Discuss confidentiality and consent in the context of supporting those who engage in self-testing 
  • Discuss why HIV pre-test and post-test counseling is important in general, and how this can be adapted in the context of self-testing  
  • Discuss the opportunities to creating enabling environments for pre- and/or post-test conversations

With support from Elder Albert McLeod  

Moderator: Shriya Hari, CATIE 

Host: Tonye Oriakhi, CATIE  


  • Michael Burtch, Maggie's Toronto Sex Workers Action Project  
  • Tamar Carter, Maggie's Toronto Sex Workers Action Project)  
  • Chris Draenos, CBRC  
  • Natasha Lawrence, Women’s Health in Women’s Hands  
  • Tieryn Steele, Manitoba Harm Reduction Network
  • Tristan Dreilich, Manitoba Harm Reduction Network 

Translators: Marie Nemeh and Awa Dembele-Yeno 


Workshop 5

HIV self-testing project: event-based testing

February 22, 2023 
1 to 2:30 p.m. EST

This workshop will increase participants’ knowledge of event-based testing, which refers to various social settings and outreach days where HIV testing is offered. We will discuss how bringing testing into communities can be an effective way to meet people’s needs and address barriers to testing, such as stigma. Through this workshop, participants will learn how event-based testing fits within the landscape of other HIV-testing approaches in Canada. Participants will also hear about key considerations to support people who get tested at events.


  • Understand how community testing events can help increase access to HIV testing
  • Recognize the benefits of event-based testing for HIV self-test kit distribution
  • Understand how event-based HIV testing fits within the landscape of other testing approaches in Canada
  • Learn about barriers to HIV testing and how event-based testing can reduce them
  • Learn tips for how to plan an HIV testing event
  • Demonstrate ways to support people through the testing process at an event

With support from Elder Albert McLeod  

Moderator: Tonye Oriakhi, CATIE


  • Abbey Ferguson, Halifax Sexual Health Centre 
  • Jermane Hall, Black CAP
  • Ella Rockar, Nine Circles Community Health Centre
  • Mark Randall, Safelink Alberta



REACH Nexus, Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC), Communities, Alliances & Networks (CAAN) and CATIE have been collaborating on the implementation of an HIV self-testing distribution strategy, supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and in consultation with community-based organizations, service providers and key populations affected by HIV.

For more information on the training program or to be connected with a partner organization to receive HIV self-test kits, please contact Ayibatonye Oriakhi at

Need foundational knowledge of HIV prevention, testing and treatment to support your self-testing initiative?

CATIE’s HIV Basics is an introductory-level, fully self-directed course geared toward service providers who work with people at risk of or living with HIV. This course aims to build foundational knowledge of HIV, covering topics such as HIV epidemiology, transmission, testing, treatment, prevention and the long-term impact of HIV infection. HIV Basics will assist front-line service providers to accurately discuss HIV with their clients and provide support around HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care. It takes three to four hours to complete, on your own time.