Anonymous HIV testing

   • General information

   • Understanding what “anonymous” means
   • How to make an appointment
   • What to expect
   • Hepatitis A/B vaccine

General Information

Halifax Sexual Health Centre offers one of two anonymous HIV testing programs in mainland Nova Scotia. Anonymous testing and counselling is offered at the clinic by our friendly HIV Clinic Coordinator.

Our Coordinator can also test your blood for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and syphilis. This can all be done in the same appointment. Please note that the tests for hep B, hep C, and syphilis are not anonymous. They are non-nominal, which means that your blood will be sent to the lab with a code number on it, instead of your name. However, you will be required to give your correct name to our Coordinator. We know that all this anonymous/non-nominal stuff can be confusing, so we encourage you to chat with the Coordinator if you have any questions.

What does “anonymous” mean?

Anonymous means that you do NOT have to provide the following information:
• Name
• Address
• Phone number
• Health card number

When you call to book the appointment, you will be asked to give a first name only. You are free to give us a false first name.

We use a number system to identify your blood. Only our HIV Clinic Coordinator will be able to link the number with your identity. She will not pass any of your information on to anyone else.

If you test positive for HIV, we will strongly recommend that you visit an Infectious Disease Specialist at the QEII Health Sciences Centre. However, it is your choice whether or not you want to do this. We will not pass on your information to the hospital, to Public Health, or to anyone else, unless you ask us to.

How do I make an appointment?

To make an appointment, call (902) 455-9656, Ext. 0. You will be asked to provide a first name only. You can give a fake name if you want.

On the day of your appointment, we ask that you call us before 10:00 a.m. to confirm the appointment. We ask this in case we have to cancel your appointment for some unexpected reason (e.g., The HIV Clinic Coordinator is ill, or the clinic is closed due to bad weather), we cannot let you know because we have no contact information for you.

There is no prep required for this blood test, but we do encourage you to eat something and to drink lots of water beforehand.

DROP-IN APPOINTMENTS (First Come, First Served)
TUESDAYS FROM 8:30 A.M. TO 10:30 A.M.

 


 

 

 What can I expect?

When you come to the clinic, tell the receptionist that you are here for blood work. Your appointment will be booked for 40 minutes. The HIV Clinic Coordinator will start by asking you about your health history (e.g., number of sexual partners, IV drug use, tattoos, etc.). Then she will talk to you about ways to decrease your risk for contracting HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis. She will take some blood from you and ask you to rest for a few minutes, in case you feel weak from the blood test.

 

You will be asked to come back in a week to get your results. Results cannot be given over the phone. Please remember that we have no way to contact you because the test is anonymous. Therefore, it is very important that you return to get your results. It is also very important that you bring back your HIV code number (given to you when you had the blood test) so that the HIV Clinic Coordinator can give you the correct results.  If you don't, she will have to repeat the test by taking blood again.

Our Coordinator is very kind and non-judgmental. She can provide you with a lot of useful information, but she is also a great listener. Please feel comfortable to share any questions or concerns you may have with her.

Can I get a vaccine for hepatitis?

Yes! We offer a vaccination for hepatitis A and B. It is free at our clinic for members of higher-risk populations such as individuals who use IV drugs and men who have sex with men (MSM). If you are not a member of a higher-risk population, but would like to receive the vaccine, please contact us for more information.

There is no vaccine currently available for hepatitis C.