Initiative Objectives/goals; Why is it important
Initiative Objectives/goals; Why is it important
I’m Ready is a first-of-its-kind national research program that is sharing 50,000 free INSTI HIV Self Test kits and offering participants the choice to connect to care either with trained peer navigation support or on their own using the program’s online resources. I’m Ready collects anonymized data from participants through surveys delivered by the program’s I’m Ready, Test mobile app, which participants also use to order their HIV self-test kit(s).
I’m Ready launched on June 02, 2021, with an op-ed, media outreach, a social media campaign and a live online event featuring Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam and other honoured guests.
I’m Ready’s research data will be used to help improve HIV testing and care in Canada. For more about I’m Ready’s program design, read about how implementation science was applied to develop the I’m Ready research program.
"Ending the transmission of HIV starts with a test."
I’m Ready aims to reach the undiagnosed and to give people choices to know their status and connect to care, while also collecting data to improve HIV testing and care in Canada.
On November 3, 2020, in part thanks to research led by REACH Nexus, Health Canada approved the country’s first HIV self-test, the INSTI HIV Self Test. People in Canada can now know their HIV status within minutes using a safe, accurate and confidential at-home test.
As Canada’s first national HIV self-test and online support research program that has open eligibility for all population groups over the age of 18, I’m Ready was designed to use this opportunity to offer HIV self-testing together with connections to care in a way that enhances choice, reduces barriers and expands access to diagnosis and treatment, through both assisted and unassisted program pathways.
The I'm Ready program makes innovative use of online technologies, including the I'm Ready, Test app, through which participants order self-testing kits and respond to surveys; the I'm Ready, Talk telehealth service, to access peer navigation support; and the I'm Ready to Know website, which acts as a connection point for all of the services and resources associated with I'm Ready. In addition to comprehensive program information about the I'm Ready platform, the website includes a Knowledge Base of FAQs about HIV self-testing and Care Pathways by province and territory, among other key resources that REACH Nexus has in development.
I’m Ready is assessing the participant experience in the program and across its products, including whether the online peer navigator model for help with testing and connections to care reduces stigma. The long-term goal is to continue to provide HIV self-testing access through the program and to integrate additional Health Canada-approved tests into the program as they become available and as the “platform” model of these technology products working together is proved to be sustainable.
Get a Test > Take a Test > Know Your Status > Get Supports > Repeat
Know your status. Connect to care. Together, Let's END HIV in Canada.
A REACH Collaboration
Bringing New POC & Self-Tests for HIV, HCV and STIs to Market
Linking Testing to Care
REACH Nexus is the lead partner for I'm Ready, working together with stakeholders and community-based organizations. WHIWH and the CBRC are active collaborators for the peer navigator service and the I'm Ready, Talk telehealth platform.
People at-risk of HIV and undiagnosed, marginalized populations
Secondary Target Audience
Health care actors and policymakers; general population
TARGET SCHEDULE / TIMELINE
Early 2021, ongoing
Singular Importance of This Initiative
Despite major enhancements in medical science that make HIV a treatable, liveable disease, HIV rates are increasing in Canada. Plus, a significant number of people in Canada are living with HIV but don’t know it. Canada has the healthcare services to support people living with HIV to live long, healthy lives and prevent transmission to others, but people can’t get treatments if they’re not diagnosed, and to date, testing options haven’t met everyone’s needs.
By offering low-barrier options to testing, connections to care and performing evaluation, the I’m Ready program aims to generate much-needed data on how to increase HIV testing accessibility and health equity, all while reducing the HIV infection rate.
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Meaningful engagement with people with lived experience
Community Engagement focusing on Priority Populations
The I’m Ready program uses telehealth-style platform, I’m Ready, Talk, staffed by informed, trained people with lived experience, called peer navigators. The peer navigators directly support the health and well-being of program participants by being available before, during or after someone’s HIV self-test to help them with the testing process and connecting to care. They’ve been trained in various areas, like prevention and protection, and on where to find local resources.
Our peer navigators are a diverse and dedicated team from different regions in Canada who are committed to increasing access to HIV testing, care and prevention. They aim to provide support that is culturally safer, anti-racist, affirming of sexual orientations and gender identities, sex-positive,respectful and judgment free.
I’m Ready launched on June 02, 2021, with an op-ed, media outreach, a social media campaign and a live online event featuring Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam and other honoured guests. The program is being widely promoted through partners ofREACH Nexus and I’m Ready program partners, including our pickup location partners. Other REACH properties, including our The Positive Effect platform, will support promotion, and we are running multiple legs of paid social media and SEO marketing in both English and in French.
Results of the study and ongoing outcomes from the data will be posted here on the REACH Nexus website.
Early results show that the I’m Ready program has already had participants in every region in Canada, and that the program has already had one positive diagnosis submitted, which means that I’m Ready reached someone who was living with HIV and didn’t know it. That person can now begin their journey to connect to care and support.