HIV and Hepatitis C
The Options Clinic provides you with exactly that – options. We provide testing and social support that is:
Anonymous – no name and no health card. All that is linked to you is your year of birth and a six digit testing number. We are one of 50 anonymous testing services in Ontario, but the only one in London, operating multiple testing sites across the city.
Free – there is no charge to book an appointment for testing
Rapid – get 99.97% accurate results in 20 minutes
Judgment free, hassle free – getting tested is respectable and responsible. Less than 1% of tests are positive, but it’s important to be proactive about your health and to know your HIV status. If a test is positive, we provide you with the resources you need, ensuring you have control of your healthcare moving forward.
Typically, a session lasts 30 minutes and includes pre and post test risk assessment or counseling if requested. Results are ready at the end of the pre test session. Testing is ideally performed 12 weeks following potential exposure to the HIV virus, but can be done as early as 5 weeks. Options Clinic staff provide information on future care options and available services and supports to those who access our services. We will also try to help HIV positive clients find primary care physicians and make referrals to AIDS Service Organizations. Read the information below to learn about the various HIV testing options and social supports available to you.
Testing is done by appointment only, but our hours of operation are flexible and include evenings:
Regular clinic hours (659 Dundas St.):
- Mon, Tue, Fri 9-5
- Wed 9-9
- Thurs 10:30 – 5
Please call or drop-in to discuss your needs, or to make an appointment (519) 673-4427
While Options Clinic staff do not provide personal health care advice or information by email, you can email Ted Town (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lyn Pierre Pitman (email@example.com) for information about the service provided by the Options Clinic.
Please note: We do not subscribe to Caller ID or Call Display and have no other service that allows us to track where you are calling from.
The Options Clinic offers HIV testing at a number of locations around the city:
Youth Action Centre
The Cornerstone – 332 Richmond Street
Second and Fourth Wednesdays of the month, 3 – 5 p.m. (drop in)
Regional HIV/AIDS Connection
#30 – 186 King Street
First and Third Wednesdays of the month, 3-5 p.m. (drop in)
Contact person: Myuri Komaragiri
2013 Dates: March 22, April 5 (1:00 - 4:00 p.m.)
Central Spa (Bathhouse) – MSM only (men who have sex with men)
728 York Street
Mondays – 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. / Thursdays 6 – 9 p.m. (drop in)
We want to provide you with as much information as possible so you can make informed decision about how you want to be tested. In Ontario, there are three types of HIV testing available:
- Anonymous – the name or identity of the person being tested is not requested, recorded or reported. The test is ordered using a code known only to the person being tested.
- Non-nominal – the practitioner ordering the test knows the name or identity of the person being tested, but orders the test using a code. If the test is positive, the laboratory is required to report the result to the local medical officer of health.
- Nominal testing – the practitioner orders the test using the person’s name. If the test is positive, the laboratory is required to report the result to the local medical officer of health.
You may also find the following resources helpful:
The Body: http://www.thebody.com/
Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC): http://www.hivaidsconnection.ca/
Ontario Ministry of Health: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/hivaids/hiv_testing.aspx
Hepatitis C Care Team
The Regional HIV/AIDS Connection and the London InterCommunity Health Centre are partners in a new program called the Hepatitis C Care Team. The goal of this program is to meet the needs of Londoners who are at risk for or living with Hepatitis C at all stages of the disease.
We are here to meet the needs of:
- those at high risk for Hepatitis C infection due to drug use
- those who have been newly diagnosed but have difficulty accessing health care from existing health and social services
- those who are Hepatitis C positive and have addiction and social issues (poverty, homelessness, mental health issues, etc.)
The Hepatitis C Care Team has four full-time staff members who work in conjunction with numerous other health and social service professionals including physicians, managerial and administrative support, support workers, and educators to ensure that you are support in all aspects of the life—physical, emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual. Our Team consists of:
- Outreach Worker
- Peer Support Worker
- Social Worker
- Nurse Practitioner
The Hepatitis C Care Team will provide services at Regional HIV/AIDS Connection, at the Health Centre and in the community. The Outreach Worker and Peer Support Worker are based at Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (#30-186 King Street). The Social Worker and Nurse Practitioner have offices at the Health Centre (659 Dundas Street).
We know that for you to be well, you need more than health care. That is why we are partnering with other community organizations from across the city. These other organizations provide additional services to support our team. Examples are addiction services, housing agencies, social services, and specialized health care.
How it Works
There are three major parts to the work we do. All of these parts work together closely so we can provide the best possible care for our clients.
The main focus of outreach is to connect with clients in the community and to build trusting relationships. Our Outreach Worker and Peer Support Worker provide support, advocacy, and education about HCV. Our outreach services work to help prevent the spread of Hepatitis C in the community. We’re also available to help you book appointments, and get to those appointments. We can even attend with you if you’d like our support.
Intensive Case Management
Living with Hepatitis C is often complicated by addictions, mental health issues and social issues like poverty or homelessness. Our Social Worker will spend time with you learning about the barriers to good health and wellness that you face, and provide support to help you to problem solve around and address some of these challenges.
Hepatitis C Care & Treatment
Hepatitis C care supports the mental and physical health symptoms that come with Hepatitis C infection. Our Nurse Practitioner, supported by Health Centre physicians, provides this care, as well as antiviral pharmacotherapy treatment for those who are stable and ready for treatment. If you are unable to receive antiviral treatment, we are still very committed to helping you to “live well” with Hepatitis C. The Social Worker is also here to help you get through the mental ups and downs that can happen during treatment.
How to Get Help:
If you think that your needs can be met by the Hepatitis C Care Team, you can refer yourself for care, treatment and support. You do not need to be a patient of the London InterCommunity Health Centre to qualify. You can also qualify even if you already have another doctor or nurse practitioner. You can access some of our Hepatitis C Care programs or all of them – depending on your comfort level and your needs.
For general questions and to reach the Outreach and Peer Support workers call: 519-434-1601.
For questions about testing, Hepatitis C care and treatment, call 519-660-0874 x346.
To have your health care provider or community worker refer you to the Hepatitis C Care Team, print, complete and fax the referral form listed below to (519) 642-1532.
- External Referral Information Sheet
- HCCT External Referral Form April2013
- Pre Treatment Checklist for HCCT referrals
- Hepatitis C Care Team Screening Information
- Brochure (Cover Image Geared to Men)
- Brochure (Cover Image Geared to Women)
- Program Fact Sheet
- Hepatitis C Screening Information (Updated Sept 2012)