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Gay men living in Vancouver are HIV positive.

HIV + STI Testing

Knowing your HIV status is an important part of a healthy sex life. Testing is the only way to know your status for sure. Whatever the reason for testing – for most guys, it’s better to know their status. In Vancouver, 1 in 5 gay men have HIV. Of those guys with HIV, about 14% are unaware of their positive status.

How Often Should I Test?

When it comes to HIV testing, everyone has a number. Some guys should test for HIV more often, depending on the type of sex they’re having. Guys who are more at risk should test every 3 months. Guys who are less at risk should test every 12 months. You can find your number, and sign up for testing reminders sent to your phone or email at:

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HIGH RISK BEHAVIOUR?
Test every 3 months.
High risk behaviour includes anal sex without a condom with a partner whose status is different than yours, or unknown to you.
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LOW RISK BEHAVIOUR?
Test once a year.
Low risk behaviour includes oral sex, anal sex where condoms are used, and sex with a regular partner whose status you know (like a boyfriend). Low-risk doesn’t necessarily mean no-risk. Even guys who may consider themselves no-risk should test for HIV every 12 months. Sometimes, a risk event may happen (by accident, mistake, or even planned). If so, you may want to change your testing pattern to every 3 months, or follow the ‘Test After a High Risk Event’ guidelines. (below).
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TEST BEFORE GIVING UP CONDOMS
If you and your partner (boyfriend, friend with benefits, whomever) want to give up condoms, you should both get tested, but only after 3 months of using condoms consistently. Assuming you are not exposed to HIV outside your relationship, you can both feel certain of your results after 3 months.
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TEST AFTER A HIGH RISK EVENT
If you have a high-risk event (broken condom, condomless anal sex with a partner whose HIV status you aren’t sure of), get tested right away. Find a clinic here, or get in touch with your family doctor.