Innovative self-screening HIV clinic open in Montreal

Since Dec. 1, Montrealers can screen themselves for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, at the downtown Quorum Medical Clinic.

The concept is called Prélib, and it's being billed as the first of its kind in Canada.

Patients register for an appointment online by filling out a detailed health questionnaire, and then is sent a personal code to gain entry to the clinic.

Once there, the only person patients can expect to come in contact with is a nurse, who'll guide them through the steps they'll need to take. In the end, they'll be alone and take the tests themselves.

If a person tests positive for HIV or other infection, the clinic would make arrangements to have the patient informed by a doctor, in person.

Prélib co-founder Dr. Maxim Ethier, a doctor at the Quorum Medical Clinic, says the goal is to increase screening rates, particularly among young people.

“Forty per cent of new diagnoses of HIV are under 30 years old, so we have a problem with the young person at the moment, and we have to find a new way to get them tested and to do prevention. And that's why telecommunication, technology, is a way that we think that people are going to have easier access to a test and information,” Ethier said.

The service is free for young people under 20. For everyone else, the whole process (including fees) should cost anywhere from $45-$55.