Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions? The list below will give you more information about the GetaKit study, ordering your tests and what to do when you get your results.
Creating and using your GetaKit account
Do I need a cell phone to register an account?
No, but it’s important that we have a way of contacting you to follow-up on a result or to notify you if there’s an issue. If you don’t have a cell phone, you can still register for GetaKit using a valid email address. If you don’t have an email address or landline, check GetaKit.ca to see if there’s a partner offering GetaKit near you where you can register in person.
Can I edit the information in my account?
Yes, once you have created your account you will be able to update your shipping address and your password through the My Account dashboard.
How do I reset my password?
Select “Forgot my Password” when logging in to your account. To recover your password, you will be asked to enter either your email or cell phone, your date of birth (YYYY-MM-DD), and last name (case sensitive).
A 6-digit code will be sent to you. Once this code has been validated, you will be redirected to reset your password.
Can I delete my account?
You can delete your account if you haven’t ordered any tests yet.
If you have an order history, you’re able to withdraw from the project by emailing us a request at [email protected]. Because your account contains health information, it is subject to the same requirements as any other health record. Instead, we’ll set your account to ‘inactive’, and your information won’t be included in any reports or publications after the date of your withdrawal.
How can I protect my personal information?
Use a unique password and don’t share your GetaKit login or password with anyone.
Will I be sent a 6-digit code every time I log in to my GetaKit account?
Yes, this is called two-factor authentication and plays an important role in protecting your privacy.
Ordering your tests from GetaKit
What HIV test does GetaKit use?
GetaKit uses the bioLytical INSTI® HIV self-test, which was approved by Health Canada on November 2, 2020. The results are highly accurate results (> 99% accurate) and available in about a minute.
If you’ve received a rapid/point-of-care HIV test before, this device is very similar. You’ll use the lancet provided in the GetaKit box to poke your finger for a drop of blood. You then follow the instructions included in your kit to complete the test. The HIV self-test can be stored between 2-30 °C; it doesn’t have to go in the fridge.
What other tests does GetaKit offer?
GetaKit is offering testing for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis in select cities. If you’re eligible, you will receive a lab requisition in the mail to take to your local lab.
Why do I have to complete the self-assessment?
The GetaKit self-assessment is powered by an algorithm that uses your responses to recommend testing that is consistent with what you would be offered in a sexual health clinic. This is for a few reasons:
- HIV self-testing isn’t for everyone, and we want to make sure it’s right for you. Depending on when you think you may have been exposed to HIV, and the last time you tested, it’s possible that receiving a blood test for HIV would be more appropriate.
- We also want to take this opportunity to recommend other important testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We offer testing for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis in select cities. If these tests are not available in your area yet, you have the option to download a form that lists the recommended tests to bring to your local provider.
- Finally, there might also be some instances where in-person care is better, like if you’re experiencing symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection, or if you might benefit from post-exposure prophylaxis or emergency contraception.
I finished the self-assessment, why does it say that there are no recommended tests for me?
It’s possible that you’re asking for testing too frequently (within 3 months of your last HIV test), or you may be considered very low risk. As we roll-out other STI testing, it’s possible that they are not yet available in your area.
Receiving your tests from GetaKit
What comes in a GetaKit box?
When you order your HIV self-test kit you will receive a package that includes:
- 1 HIV self-test
- Instructions on how to use the kit
- 3 bottles of labelled solutions
- 1 lancet
- 1 bandage
- 1 membrane device
- Testing requisitions for other STI testing (if available in your area)
All this comes in a compact, discrete package along with a separate workstation to organize all the pieces of the HIV self-test.
Will I get confirmation once I’ve completed my order?
Once your kit is shipped, you will receive a Canada Post Tracking number either by email or text. If you lose your tracking number, don’t worry! You can find it again under the Order Details page under My Account.
Can I change my delivery address after I have completed my order?
Once you have received confirmation that your order is on its way, we’re unable to change your shipping destination. This is why it’s important to confirm your address before submitting your order. For future orders, you can update your address by selecting ‘Edit Address’ in your My Account dashboard.
How soon will it be delivered?
Your test should arrive in about 3 days. Your order may be delayed because of an unusually high volume of shipments with Canada Post. Orders place on the weekends and holidays will be shipped the following business day. In the cold winter months, kits can’t be left outside, so you may have to pick them up at your local Canada Post office.
How do I track that status of my kit delivery?
You can track the status of your order by logging into your account, selecting your most recent order, and selecting the Canada Post tracking number. This will redirect you to the Canada Post tracking website. If this link doesn’t work, you can also copy and paste the tracking number directly to the Canada Post tracking website.
If there was a recent change in the shipping address, we recommend picking it up from the address used at checkout. Otherwise, please wait about a week before reordering a new one, and do not hesitate to contact us.
My order got lost in the mail. What do I do?
We’re sorry that we were unable to deliver your kit. You can re-order a new one by logging into your account and updating your result to ‘kit not delivered’. This should allow you to re-order a new one. Please take an extra moment to review that your address is correct (e.g. unit number is included).
Testing and Reading Your Results
Please remember that consent and willingness to take the test are very important. Whoever is taking the test, should understand what the test is for and not feel pressure to do it. This applies whether it’s you, your partner, your friend, your relative, or someone else taking the test.
If you have any questions or concerns about coercive testing, you can contact the HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic of Ontario (HALCO) and you can read this pamphlet from HALCO – HIV testing and reporting to Public Health in Ontario – CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario).
How do I use my HIV self-test?
To start, watch this short video on how to do the test. Some points to keep in mind:
- When you do your test, the dots could appear light or dark, but any dot is a dot. You can see what the different possible self-test results could look like here.
- We found that the most common reason for invalid results (there was no dot at the top) is that there was not enough blood during collection. Click here to tips to make sure you collect enough blood.
How do I read my result?
After your do your test, a dot should appear at the top under the ‘C’. This is the ‘control dot’ and means the test worked. Remember: any dot is a dot no matter how faint.
Your result is negative if you only see the control dot.
Your result is positive if you see two dots: the control dot and another one underneath.
Your result is invalid if there is no blue dot in the control area (under the ‘C’) or if the solution fills the entire space. Here are some images of an invalid result:
How do I submit my result?
When you have your result, the best way to submit it is by logging into your GetaKit account and look for the red exclamation mark next to your order. If you’re having trouble logging in, you can also submit your result here.
What happens after I submit my result?
GetaKit offers status neutral linkage to care, meaning we can help you connect to treatment or prevention services no matter your result.
If your result is positive, you will be contacted immediately to discuss next steps for confirmatory testing. We can also connect you to treatment and care or with other support services.
If your result is negative, you can learn more about HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
If your result is invalid, you can order a new kit.
When should I re-test?
Both the Public Health Agency of Canada and the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recommend retesting for HIV every 3 to 6 months, especially if there are ongoing risk practices for getting HIV. GetaKit will send you a reminder to re-test.
If you think you have been exposed to HIV and the incident is within 72 hours, please contact the sexual health clinic or visit the nearest emergency room at your local hospital to get PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis).