Rapid HIV & STI Testing
In partnership with Alberta Health Services’ Safeworks, we are happy to offer rapid HIV and STI testing for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) at the Centre for Sexuality.
In addition to standard STI testing, the clinics also offer rapid HIV tests, so guys can know their status in less than a minute. Guys can also get vaccinations for things like Hepatitis A & B, and the HPV vaccine for guys 26 and under. Best of all, our services are all free!
When: Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 7:30 pm
Where: Centre for Sexuality office (700 – 1509 Centre St SW)
If you have any questions about the services offered at the clinics, please contact our Gay Men’s Health Specialist, Nolan Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org
Book an Appointment
We offer both appointments and drop-ins for our clinics. Our appointments open one week in advance, and often fill up fast. Our appointment slots are as follows:
Wednesdays: 3:30, 4:30, 6:00, and 7:00
Thursdays: 3:30, 4:30, 6:00, 6:30, and 7:00
If you can’t make an appointment, you can still come for a drop-in. These slots often fill up fast, so we recommend getting here early for your best chance of being seen.
We do our best to see as many guys as possible but can’t guarantee that you will be seen. You can call in advance to ask us about the wait time by calling 403-283-5580 (press 0).
What is an HIV test?
An HIV test requires drawing blood from a person in order to look for the presence of HIV antibodies in the blood. If the test discovers HIV antibodies in the blood then the person is HIV-positive, if the test does not discover antibodies then the person is HIV-negative. It is important to know that the body of a person infected with HIV can take some time to start producing antibodies. During this time (between 3 weeks and 3 months) a person’s HIV test may still turn up negative; this is often called the “window period”. It takes about a week to get the result from a regular lab HIV test, and a matter of minutes to get your result from a point-of-care or ”rapid” test.
What is an STI test?
In addition to receiving an HIV test, men can be tested for: gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and hepatitis (A, B, C). Testing for syphilis and hepatitis involves blood being drawn, while testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia requires swabbing of the throat and rectum as well as a urine test. Like with HIV testing, it will take a week to get the results from your STI test.
How often should I get tested?
How often you get tested depends on your sexual activity. Guys who are sexually active should routinely get tested for HIV and STIs every 12 months. For guys who are having anal sex without condoms with multiple and/or anonymous partners, or with someone whose HIV status is either unknown or opposite to their own should get tested more often (i.e., every 3-6 months).