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HIV Screening


The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that all people should get tested for HIV as part of their regular medical care.

The Public Health Agency of Canada also recommends HIV testing for: footnote 1

  • Anyone who is or has been sexually active and has never been tested for HIV.
  • Anyone who has had unprotected sex with a partner who is HIV-positive or whose HIV status is unknown.
  • Anyone who is pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant.
  • Anyone who has shared needles, syringes, spoons or other drug use equipment with someone who is HIV-positive or whose HIV status is unknown.
  • Anyone who has been sexually assaulted.

HIV testing may also be recommended for people with other risk factors. You and your doctor can decide if testing is right for you.

Where can you be tested for HIV?

You can get HIV testing done in most doctors' offices, public health clinics, and hospitals. You can also buy a home HIV test kit (blood test) in a pharmacy or online. But be very careful to choose only a test that has been approved by Health Canada. If a home test is positive, you'll need to see a doctor to have the result confirmed and to find out what to do next.



  1. Public Health Agency of Canada (2012). Human immunodeficiency virus: HIV screening and testing guide. Available online:


Current as of: October 31, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Peter Shalit MD, PhD - Internal Medicine

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