Almost one year ago, physicians from UHN’s Emergency Department (ED) approached the Biochemistry laboratory to provide a rapid HIV test for high-risk ED patients. High-risk populations routinely served in EDs across Ontario are rarely tested for HIV in the ED, creating a critical ‘diagnosis gap’ for Ontarians and adding to systemic healthcare inequity of access to the benefits of HIV testing and care.
Given the restricted lab licensing requirements around this test, the lab could not offer this much needed service. But, this didn’t stop the biochemistry team – they lobbied the lab licensing group within the Ministry of Health to create a new test code for this special population and were successful! Effective October 18, 2021, the UHN Core Laboratory will offer rapid HIV antibody/antigen screening for patients at high risk within the Emergency Department.
This project was spearheaded by Dr. Jennifer Hulme and colleagues from ED and Dr. Davor Brinc from Biochemistry.