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I recently did 2 INSTI HIV self-tests within the past 6 months and it was negative both times. I was told by a few people that if the test is negative after 12 weeks and done properly there's no need to follow up for a lab confirmation. I waited 90 days after my first INSTI test was negative and the 2nd one was also negative. Am I all good or do I need a lab confirmation?

Congratulations on using the INSTI HIV self-test. This quick and simple tool is one more way that Canadians find out their HIV status. A self-test allows you to test yourself for HIV in the place and time that you choose. It uses a drop of blood from a finger prick and gives your result within minutes. The test looks for HIV antibodies and is over 99% accurate when used correctly.

HIV testing is one way to look after your health and the health of your sex partners and the people you use drugs with. It is a good idea to test for HIV if you are sexually active or use injection drugs.

In the scenario you describe, you do not need to have a lab confirm your negative result with a blood test. Re-testing after a negative result is sometimes recommended because the test does not always identify recent infections. Testing three months or longer after your last possible HIV exposure will give you a reliable negative result (as long as there were no additional possible exposures within the three months.)
Confirmation testing is recommended when the result is positive or if the test was invalid.

If you are sexually active or use injection drugs, it may be a good idea to test for HIV regularly.  The INSTI HIV self-test will only test for HIV antibodies, so be sure to ask a health care provider about testing for syphillis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and Hep C as well.

There are a few ways you can get INSTI HIV self-tests in Manitoba:

  1. ask your health care provider if they have INSTI HIV self-tests you can take home
  2. visit Nine Circles Community Health Centre to get up to 5 free INSTI HIV self-tests
  3. download the free I’m Ready app to access up to 5 free INSTI HIV self-tests and have them shipped to you
  4. purchase them directly from bioLytical Laboratories