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Get checked online launches in Kimberley

Residents of Kimberley now have easier access to testing for sexually-transmitted infections and blood borne infections (STBBI) through BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) GetCheckedOnline program.
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Residents of Kimberley now have easier access to testing for sexually-transmitted infections and blood borne infections (STBBI) through BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) GetCheckedOnline program

Kimberley is the third community in the Interior to get the service, in addition to Kamloops and Nelson, which launched GetCheckedOnline in 2016. Evaluations in these communities have shown that the program reduces barriers to testing, including for individuals who are first-time testers and those who may be at a higher risk of infection.

“With the success of the program in Kamloops and Nelson, we anticipate similar uptake in Kimberley,” said Maja Karlsson, Director Sexual Health and Harm Reduction, Interior Health. “Having this free and convenient service helps to normalize testing, which in turn means more people are empowered to take control of their sexual health.” 

GetCheckedOnline is an online service that offers confidential testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, syphilis and hepatitis C without the need to see a health-care provider in person. The program is offered by Interior Health and the BCCDC, in partnership with the BC Public Health Laboratory, and LifeLabs.

The process is easy. First, you create an online account. You then create a lab form by completing a short assessment that will determine the recommended tests. You can bring your lab form into a participating LifeLabs location either printed or on your smartphone to give your samples. 

When your results are ready, usually in 7 to 12 days, you will receive an email. You can sign back in to GetCheckedOnline to view your results. A nurse will contact you if your results require follow-up, including possible treatment or additional testing. 

Stephanie, a client of the GetCheckedOnline in the Interior Health region, is a strong advocate for the service.

“If you believe you currently have an infection, you definitely should go to a health-care professional,” says Stephanie. “But if you want to keep track of your sexual health, GetCheckedOnline is like a one-stop shop—you can provide all your urine, blood, and swab samples at LifeLabs—then get your results online.”

The best feature of the GetCheckedOnline service from her perspective is being able to conveniently share these dated test results with a prospective sexual partner. Sharing these results builds openness and trust. 

“A partner can make an informed choice about sex,” says Stephanie. “They know the facts.”

She further explains that if you are tested at a clinic and don’t hear back, then you can assume that the test was negative. However, having a definitive negative result arrive in your inbox through GetCheckedOnline better alleviates people’s anxiety.

Other individuals, in particular sex workers or gender diverse individuals, see GetCheckedOnline as a good option if they feel shame around testing or fear of judgement.

“For some people, they feel safer being honest in their answers about their sexual activity,” says Stephanie. “They have more anonymity.”

“It is important to us that British Columbians have discreet, accessible testing when they need it so they can take care of themselves and their partners,” said Mark Gilbert, Medical Director, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC. “We are proud to work with our Interior Health partners to launch GetCheckedOnline in Kimberley, building off the success we have had in the communities of Kamloops and Nelson.” 




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