Rapid HIV & STI Testing

In partnership with Alberta Health Services’ Safeworks, we are happy to offer rapid HIV and STI testing for men who have sex with men (MSM) at the Calgary Sexual Health Centre. You’ll find out your HIV test result in less than a minute!

When: Thursdays — appointments can be made at 5:00pm, 5:30pm, & 6:00pm. Drop-ins will be seen according to availability between 5:00pm-6:30pm.

Where: At the Calgary Sexual Health Centre office (#304, 301 – 14th St. N.W.)

Book an Appointment

For appointments, we only accept bookings made on the same day as testing. This means that appointments can only be booked on Thursdays for testing later that same evening.

If you are unable to make an appointment you can still drop-in but we cannot guarantee that you will be seen. You may want to call 403-283-5580 (press 1) in advance to inquire about the wait time and availability.

You can also visit the STI Clinic at the Sheldon Chumir, which is open late on Thursdays from 5:15-8 p.m.

What is an HIV test?

An HIV test requires drawing blood from a person in order to look for the presence of HIV antibodies in the blood. If the test discovers HIV antibodies in the blood then the person is HIV-positive, if the test does not discover antibodies then the person is HIV-negative. It is important to know that the body of a person infected with HIV can take some time to start producing antibodies. During this time (between 3 weeks and 3 months) a person’s HIV test may still turn up negative; this is often called the “window period”. It takes about a week to get the result from a regular lab HIV test, and a matter of minutes to get your result from a point-of-care/”rapid” test.

What is an STI test?

In addition to receiving an HIV test, men can be tested for: gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphillis, and hepatitis (A, B, C). Testing for syphillis and hepatitis involves blood being drawn, while testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia requires swabbing of the throat and rectum as well as a urine test. Like with HIV testing, it will take a week to get the results from your STI test.

Plus, if you’ve never been vaccinated for hepatitis A and B, or you need a booster, then you can get that done too – and it’s free!

How often should I get tested?

How often you get tested depends on your sexual activity. Men who have sex with men should routinely get tested for HIV and STIs every 12 months. MSM who are having anal sex without condoms with multiple and/or anonymous partners, or with someone whose HIV status is either unknown or opposite to their own should get tested more often (i.e., every 3-6 months).

Online and Social Media Outreach

We provide online outreach on all of your favorite apps. You can chat with us about all kinds of things, including:

  • Sexual activities (anal, oral, digital sex, and others)
  • HIV and other sexually transmitted infections
  • Testing and treatment
  • Where to access services
  • Where to get free condoms and lube
  • Talking to partners and peers about sex
  • Relationships
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

When we are online, find our outreach worker on Grindr, Scruff, Jack’d, and Hornet under the username “SexInfo.” All of our conversations are kept confidential, and you can choose to disclose as much or as little personal information as you like.

Young gay men

Young gay men have diverse and unique needs when it comes to their sexual health, that’s why the Calgary Sexual Health Centre has developed a program just for gay men under 30. We focus on providing fact based, evidence-informed programming that has been designed specifically with gay men in mind, and considers the realities of many young gay men in particular. Our programming takes a sex-positive, non-judgmental approach, and it is our aim to give young gay men the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about their sexual activity. It is our belief that by providing young gay men with the tools they need, we can help prevent new HIV and STI infections, and improve their overall sexual health and well being.

What does the program look like?

Our young gay men’s program takes place in small group settings (approximately 5-10 guys), and occurs over 4 weekly sessions at 1.5-2 hours each. The program uses a combination of activities, brainstorms, role playing, and group discussions to encourage participants to reflect on their own knowledge and values around sexuality.

The impact

Participating in the program has improved young gay men’s knowledge around specific sexual health topics, such as HIV/STI risk, transmission, and sexual risk reduction. Participants have also demonstrated an increased comfort in talking about sexuality, and improved skills in sharing sexual health knowledge and risk reduction strategies with their sexual partners as well as their peers. Most importantly, however, is the fact that young gay men just get a space to hang out and talk candidly about their experiences with sexuality in a positive environment that is free from judgement, shame, or criticism.

Learn more

If you would like to learn more about the program, or inquire about participating in an upcoming group, contact use at 403-283-5580.