The DIY difference: New cases of HIV are rising dramatically in Canada. It’s time for us to introduce self-testing kits

…One stumbling block for approval from Health Canada has been the lack of a clinical trial in Canada showing how accurate and easy to use the kits are, and whether users will seek medical care if they test positive. So, Dr. Sean Rourke, a psychiatrist and scientist at MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, raised the money for a 1,000-person clinical trial across give Canadian cities on INSTI finger-prick self-testing kits. Pant Pai is running the Quebec side of the trial. They expect it to be finished in February.

Once bio-Lytical submits the results to Health Canada, Rourke predicts the government will have everything it needs to approve the kits. “Hopefully by early spring or summer, the first self-test kits will be available in Canada,” he says.

…If self-test kits are finally approved for drug-store shelves and if more Canadians living with HIV gain access to medication, it’s a whole new world.

“We can end the HIV epidemic,” says Rourke. “Other countries have targets for 2030. We can do this in three to five years.”

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