We recommend that health care providers know the HIV status of all patients under their care.

Late presentation to care is associated with poorer long- and short-terms health outcomes for people living with HIV and is significantly associated with increased costs to the health care system. Routine offer of HIV testing by healthcare providers is one step that can be taken to reduce late HIV diagnosis and late presentation to HIV care.  Routine offer of HIV testing has been proven to reduce stigma associated with HIV testing and infection, as well as, increasing the proportion of HIV diagnosed during its acute phase.

Early diagnosis and early treatment initiation are important public health strategies that can drastically reduce HIV transmission.

The Manitoba HIV Program endorses the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control testing guidelines:

Specifically, we recommend that providers offer an HIV test:

  • Routinely, every five years, to all patients aged 18-70 years
  • Routinely, every year, to all patients aged 18-70 years who belong to populations with a higher burden of HIV infection1
  • Once for patients older than 70 years of age, if HIV status is not known

AND offer an HIV test to patients (including adults 18-70, youth and the elderly) whenever:

  • Ordering diagnostic blood work for a new or worsening medical condition
  • They present with symptoms of HIV infection or advanced HIV disease
  • They or their providers identify a risk for HIV acquisition
  • They request an HIV test
  • They are pregnant
  • Testing for or diagnosing a sexually transmitted infection (STI), hepatitis C, hepatitis B or tuberculosis

Full Guidelines Available Here

1Populations that experience a higher burden of HIV infection may change over time. In 2014, populations in Manitoba experiencing a higher burden of HIV include: Men who have sex with men, People who inject drugs, People having unprotected sex with multiple partners, People from endemic countries (in 2014, this includes the Caribbean and countries in sub-Saharan Africa) and Indigenous people. All populations experiencing a higher burden of HIV are diverse and may see a range of HIV prevalence. Recommendations on testing frequency may be individualized and may be subject to change.