This week, November 23-30, is National HIV Testing Week 2020. Although it looks different this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to contribute to the theme of awareness by creating and sharing a resource to help Nova Scotians understand how they can get tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
We hope this resource will serve as a guide to help folks navigate testing options across our province. The process for accessing STI testing is not a simple one in Nova Scotia. How and where people are able to get tested depends on their age, whether they currently have symptoms, where they live, if they have access to transportation, and other factors. Sexual Health Nova Scotia believes that all Nova Scotians should have the choice and ability to easily access testing when they need it, near their home, and without financial cost to them. Unfortunately this is not currently the case, and we need to see changes in our healthcare system urgently to address the sexual health needs of Nova Scotians.
Covid-19 has made the process of accessing STI testing even more difficult here. The resource we have developed shows how challenging it is for folks to get what they need. This was true before Covid-19 came to our province, and it is even more true now that it is here.
We need change. Sexual health services are essential.