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 providing people in Canada with 50,000 free, accurate, confidential HIV self-test kits and the choice to connect to care through on-demand technology platforms and trained peer navigation support. This program will also collect anonymized data from participants through surveys. I'm Ready is launching in spring 2021.
The program will compile research data from consenting participants using a website, mobile app and an online tele-health services platform. If someone wants to know their status and help the research, all they have to do is download the I'm Ready, Test app to order up to three HIV self-testing kits. Once they have a kit, they can use the Test app to test on their own and get more information or they can book time with a peer navigator through the I'm Ready, Talk telehealth platform for support before, during or after they test.
The research data will be used to help improve HIV testing and care in Canada.
"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, Health Canada approved the country’s first HIV self-test, the INSTI HIV Self Test. Canadians can now know their HIV status within minutes using a safe, accurate and confidential at-home test. As Canada’s first HIV self-test and online support research program, 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 app, 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 will include a knowledge base of FAQs about HIV self-testing and pathways to care by province, among other key resources that REACH Nexus has in development.
I’m Ready will be assessing the participant experience in the online support platform, 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 platform as they become available and as the platform 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 CBOs. 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 will use a telehealth-style platform staffed by informed, trained people with lived experience, called peer navigators. These peer navigators will directly support the health and well-being of program participants. They’ve been trained in various areas, like prevention and protection, and on where to find local resources.
The program will be promoted through partners of REACH Nexus and various outreach strategies. Community referrals through community-based organizations will promote the program as well as The Positive Effect website, word of mouth and our use of contemporary digital and social marketing strategies.
Results of the I’m Ready implementation science program will be analysed and released through publications to peer-reviewed journals after one year of service. At this time, the program’s success and sustainability will be evaluated. Results of the study and ongoing outcomes from the data will also be posted here on the REACH Nexus website.