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HIV Testing

People who are concerned that they may have been exposed to HIV can ask to be tested. They can choose to be tested anonymously in a special clinic. In some cases a public health officer can require a person to be tested. Positive HIV tests and diagnoses of AIDS must be reported unless the testing was done anonymously.

Anonymous Testing

Anonymous testing takes place in special clinics where individuals are not asked to provide their name or any other identifying information. Individuals are assigned an anonymous code that is also assigned to the blood sample collected for testing. No one else has access to information that discloses the test results and the identity of the individual tested. For tracking purposes, HIV-positive results are reported to the provincial health department. However, where testing was done anonymously through a specifically designated clinic, only the test result - and not the individual's name - is reported.

Voluntary Testing

You can be tested through a doctor's office or a community medical clinic. You can choose whether to you want to get the testing done anonymously or not. Unless testing is done anonymously doctors must report patients who test positive for HIV or who have AIDS to the public health officer.

Mandatory Testing

In Saskatchewan, a designated public health officer may order an individual who has, or probably has, HIV to undergo an HIV test if it is considered necessary for the protection of public health. The public health officer may also order things such as counselling to discuss ways to reduce the risk of spreading the disease in order to decrease or eliminate a public health risk. These orders may be appealed in front of a court.

Reporting

Doctors must keep your medical information (including HIV status) confidential unless the law orders or permits them to release the information. In Saskatchewan, HIV is classified as a "category II communicable disease" and must be reported. A diagnosis of AIDS must also be reported. A report includes different information depending on whether the person tests positive for HIV or is diagnosed with AIDS.

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About PLEA

PLEA gratefully acknowledges our primary core funder the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan for their continuing and generous support of our organization.