INSTI HIV Self-Test Study in Canada

INSTI HIV Self-Test Study in Canada

The IWRG is involved in the first Canadian study to evaluate HIV self-testing in Canada, using the INSTI HIV Self-Test device.

The INSTI HIV Self-Test was approved by Health Canada in November 2020. The INSTI HIV Self-Test device is widely accessible, convenient and provides additional testing options for key populations susceptible to HIV. It is available for purchase on the INSTI website.

The study included nearly 800 participants from key priority populations in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Victoria before it was halted because of safety concerns stemming from COVID-19 outbreaks throughout Canada. The IWRG worked with Saskatoon Sexual Health to conduct our portion of the study.

The study evaluated whether untrained participants can perform the self-test effectively and interpret their results accurately. The study provides strong indications that it is accurate, acceptable and easy to use by self-testers with diverse backgrounds, and it could be an important alternative to facility-based HIV testing for reaching the undiagnosed during pandemic control measures in Canada.

About 95 per cent of the participants indicated they would use the INSTI Self-Test again and also recommend its use to a sexual partner or friend.

The project team includes highly experienced and qualified professionals from across Canada, led by Sean B. Rourke, a scientist at St. Michael’s Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.

The study is jointly funded by The CIHR Centre for REACH 3.0 and the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR).

For more information, contact:

Kehinde Ametepee