Blood Blitz in Campbell River aims to normalize HIV testing for World AIDS Day

e event will offer the so-called rapid HIV test will be available which allows HIV test results in less than 60 seconds

In an effort to make HIV testing as routine and accessible as possible, AIDS Vancouver Island in Campbell River is teaming up with Island Health (VIHA) to host a “Blood Blitz” testing day with HIV tests, flu shots and sexually transmitted infection tests being made available to everyone.

The Blood Blitz Testing Day will take place on Wednesday Nov. 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. as part of AIDS Awareness Week at the Campbell River offices of AIDS Vancouver Island (1371 Unit C, Cedar Street).

The event will offer the so-called rapid HIV test will be available which allows HIV test results in less than 60 seconds.

“Offering the 60 second tests, greatly reduces the anxiety people feel about waiting to get their results,” says Leanne Cunningham key event organizer and support worker at AIDS Vancouver Island in Campbell River. “We can offer the test and offer support all in one visit.

“We’re hoping people will visit us for the Blood Blitz and see how easy getting tested can be.”

The initiative is in line with the goals of the provincial government’s supported STOP HIV Project which aims to seek HIV infection through increased testing and connect people to treatment if they are infected with the HIV virus.

“The more people we can get tested the more people we can get connected to treatment. Once people are on treatment, they are less likely to transmit the virus,” says Katrina Jensen, executive director of AIDS Vancouver Island.

The Blood Blitz is aiming to provide a variety of blood tests including those for other sexually transmitted infections as well as offering this year’s flu shot.

“Were thrilled to also partner with Island Health and our partners in Positive Wellness North Island who will provide education, information and support as well as confidential HIV testing” says Cunningham.

Last year there was the lowest number of new HIV infections recorded in British Columbia.