HIV and Me: Information for Patients

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1 in 5 people who have HIV don't know they have it.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the immune system which helps your body fight off infection. HIV can lead to an Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) if not treated with medication. There is no cure for HIV, but it can be treated and people with HIV can live full and active lives.

HIV can be spread by:

  • Sexual contact (unprotected vaginal, anal and oral sex)
  • Blood contact
  • Sharing needles, syringes and other drug use equipment
  • Sharing equipment used for tattooing, piercing or acupuncture
  • Pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding (Breastfeeding is not recommended for infants born to mothers living with HIV because of the risk of HIV transmission.  Free formula is available to infants born to mothers living with HIV from birth to approximately one year of age.  Information can be found here.

Knowing you are HIV negative is just as important as knowing you are HIV positive.

The only way to know for sure is to have a test. The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health advises that all people, regardless of their perceived risk, should be tested at least once every five years. If you are a medium or high risk individual, testing should be done more frequently. Your health care provider can help you determine the best schedule for routine testing.

 

You can also print off this card and take it into your health care provider to start the conversation about HIV testing.

Additional information about HIV testing can be found here:

You are responsible for your health. Knowing the facts about HIV and HIV testing will help you make more informed decisions about your health care. Talk to your health care provider today.

If you can not access your usual health care provider, HIV testing can also be done at the following locations:

Your family doctor or nurse practitioner (NP) or a doctor/NP at a walk-in clinic. For a list of doctors accepting new patients, please click  here

Sexual Health Clinic (RQHR)

(306) 766-7788

http://www.rqhealth.ca/departments/sexual-health-clinic

 

Planned Parenthood Regina

(306) 522-0902

www.plannedparenthoodregina.com

 

AIDS Programs South Saskatchewan

(306) 924-8420

www.aidsprogramssouthsask.com

 

Anonymous testing for HIV is available in Regina.  Call for an appointment:

306-766-7779 or toll-free 1-800-268-9888

 

HIV PrEP

HIV PrEP or pre-exposure prophylaxis is the use of medications to lower the risk of getting HIV. It is recommended for people who are at an increased risk of getting HIV. 

Click here for more information on PrEP and protecting yourself.

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