In response to COVID-19, as of March 16 2020, Region of Waterloo Public Health has closed all sexual health clinics until further notice, including ACCKWA’s. We will update this page accordingly. If you haven’t already, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay informed (links at the bottom of this page).
In the meantime, if you are seeking HIV testing specifically, please consider the HIV self-testing program that has recently launched called I’m Ready. It is a national research program through which registered participants, 18 years of age and older, can order up to 3 free HIV self-test kits for delivery or to pick-up at a participation pickup location (like us!) near you. You will need a smart phone and access to wireless internet or data in order download the program’s mobile app so that you can formally register, which involves completing anonymous surveys, and to access the peer navigation support available to you before, during or after you self-test for HIV.
*Please note that this program is not affiliated with ACCKWA – we are simply a distribution site for Waterloo Region and are available to connect you to HIV care and other sexual health services! Call us at 519-570-3687 between 10 am and 6 pm Monday to Fridays for additional support and navigation.
If you are in need of other supports regarding your sexual health, access to or wish to be accompanied to your family doctor or local walk-in HIV/STI testing clinic, please call us at 519-570-3687 between 10 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday, and ask to speak to the appropriate Prevention Team member.
Approximately 14% of people living with HIV in Canada do not know they are HIV positive. Knowing one’s HIV status leads to better individual health outcomes and also strengthens prevention efforts. ACCKWA recognizes that there are significant barriers that impact an individual’s ability and readiness to get tested, so our testing clinic is as accessible as possible.
Where can I get tested?
What you need to know:
- Tests are free and confidential
- We offer Rapid Point of Care testing (blood from the prick of a finger) – see Prince Harry’s video here
- We also offer standard HIV testing (vial of blood taken from a vein) *anonymous testing available
- Our clinic is drop-in – you do not need to make an appointment
- A health card is not required
- If you want more information, see our HIV Testing Info Guide
HIV testing window period
- There is a window period before an HIV test is considered conclusive. The window period is 3 weeks to 3 months.
- This is because the test looks for antibodies to HIV (antibodies form in response to an infection), not the virus itself. Antibodies take 3 weeks to 3 months to form.
- If you had an exposure more recently (ex. one week ago) you can still come for a test. The nurse will test you to get a baseline, and will recommend that you come back for another test.
We also offer:
- Hepatitis A vaccine (for men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and people with hepatitis B and/or C)
- Hepatitis B vaccine
- HPV vaccine (Gardasil), for men who have sex with men under 27. See our gay men’s page here for more details
- Hepatitis C testing (there is no vaccine for hepatitis C)
- Syphilis testing (blood draw from a vein)
- Chlamydia and gonorrhea testing (urine sample and/or throat swab)
Our clinic consists of one Nurse and one Nurse Practitioner. The Nurse Practitioner is able to do symptomatic testing and STI treatment.
For more HIV & STI testing locations in Ontario, visit the AIDS & Sexual Health Infoline.