Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos on Monday announced nearly $18 million to expand HIV testing in Canada, with a substantial portion of the funding going toward self-administered kits.
Of the $17.9 million, $8 million will go toward purchasing HIV self-testing kits and distributing them to community organizations, Duclos said at the 24th International AIDS Conference in Montreal.
The other $9.9 million will go to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg for expansion of HIV testing in northern, remote or isolated (NRI) communities.
“HIV self-test kits offer a safe, reliable and confidential way for people to screen for HIV infection while significantly reducing the barriers to seeking care often created by stigma and discrimination,” a government news release reads.
Health Canada approved the first HIV self-test in late 2020. It’s a one-minute, finger-prick blood test from Richmond, B.C., company bioLytical Laboratories Inc.