I’m Ready to Know is about ending HIV in Canada with low-barrier access to self-testing and connections to care.
I’m Ready to Know is a national program that is implementing, scaling-up and evaluating low-barrier options for access to HIV self-testing. The goal is to reach the undiagnosed and give people choices about how to connect to the care they need.
The INSTI HIV Self Test was approved for use in Canada on Nov. 3, 2020, in part thanks to research done by the same team behind I’m Ready to Know. The overall accuracy is rated at over 99%, meaning that there is over a 99% probability that either a positive or a negative result will be correct. The INSTI HIV Self Test is currently the only HIV self-test approved in Canada.
The INSTI HIV Self Test is very similar to the rapid point-of-care test you may be familiar with that is administered at a health clinic or your doctor’s office, and is produced by the same manufacturer, bioLytical. It’s also similar to other home self-tests, not unlike a pregnancy test: you do the test on yourself and see the results within minutes. To do the test, you prick your finger for a single drop of blood using materials that are in the kit, follow the kit’s instructions to mix and use the other materials included in the kit, and then read your results. It can take a little as one minute to do the self-test from start to finish.
How it Works
The SWC is a proud pickup location partner for this important project. Order your kit to the McMaster Student Wellness Centre and collect it Monday or Wednesday between 9am – 4pm from PGCLL 203.
The I’m Ready, Talk app is where you can access support from peer navigators before, during or after you self-test for HIV. Peer navigators can help answer your questions about the I’m Ready research program, guide you to information about HIV self-testing and provide live, virtual support while you test. They can also point you to services and information for HIV care and prevention.
The peer navigators are a diverse and dedicated team from different regions in Canada who are committed to increasing access to HIV testing, care and prevention. They aim to provide support that is culturally safer, anti-racist, affirming of sexual orientations and gender identities, sex-positive, respectful and judgment free. Each peer navigator brings their own lived experience to the table and has been trained specifically for this program to guide you to the right information on HIV care and prevention for where you’re at.