Photo of INSTI HIV Self-Test. Text reads"HIV SELF-TESTING KITS. What you need to know and where to find them in Calgary, Alberta.

HIV Self-Testing Kits: What you need to know and where to find them in Calgary and Medicine Hat.

Alisha OstbergBlog, drug use, harm reduction, MSM, sex work, STIs, support, testing

SafeLink Alberta has been at the forefront of STBBI testing, treatment and prevention since 1983. Since then, there have been tremendous advances in knowledge related to HIV infection, progression, and treatment, and there has also been advancement in HIV testing and access to testing options. 

Enter the INSTI HIV Self-Testing Kit by Biolytical Laboratories Ltd. 

Created in and now available in Canada, this kit is available through several projects, community programs and organizations, including SafeLink Alberta. 

Never heard of it? 

That’s OK. This kit is relatively new to our communities. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is gaining traction as a testing tool for some of the hardest-to-reach and often underserved communities. These communities include gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, African, Caribbean, and Black communities, sex workers, Indigenous communities, and Trans communities.

What is an HIV Self-Testing Kit?  

The INSTI HIV Self-Testing Kit is an HIV antibody test you can do in the privacy of your own home. The test is a blood-based that uses a simple finger prick blood sample. The test needs only three vial solutions to provide a result in under a minute with 99% accuracy. This test kit only detects HIV.  

Because the INSTI HIV Self-Testing Kit is an antibody test that is only 99% accurate, an HIV antigen test at a doctor’s office or clinic must be conducted to confirm that the person has tested positive for HIV.

How do you use the kit? 

Make sure to read the instructions carefully before starting your test. Watch the embedded video for a step-by-step guide on how to use the self-test kit. 

Where can I get a kit? 

The INSTI HIV Self-Testing Kit is free in Calgary at:

SafeLink Alberta Calgary Office

Address: 1944 10 Ave SW, Calgary AB, T3C 0J8

Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 am to 12 pm by appointment only. 1 pm – 4 pm drop-ins are welcome.

Phone: 403.508.2500


Goliaths Saunatel

Address: 308B 17th Avenue SW Calgary, AB  T2S 0A8

Hours: Monday-Sunday, Open 24 Hours

Phone: 403.229.0911


The Centre For Sexuality

Address: 1509 Centre Street S, Suite 700 Calgary, Alberta T2G 2E6

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Phone: 403.283.5580


The INSTI HIV Self-Testing Kit is free in Medicine Hat at:

SafeLink Alberta Medicine Hat Office

Address: 411 N Railway St SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1A 2Z3

Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 am to 12 pm by appointment only. 1 pm – 4 pm drop-ins are welcome.

Phone: 403.527.5882


The INSTI HIV Self-Testing Kit is also available online at:
Community Based Research Centre (CBRC) Test at Home

Visit their Test At Home page here.

Ready to Know Project

Visit their Home page here.

Both providers give multiple options to access testing in a way that meets your needs. You can use the smartphone app to pick them up nearby or deliver them to your home.

Connect with Our Programs

HIV and STI testing are critical components for overall health and wellness. Providing people with less intimidating options, easy to use and find, and a private way to test is essential. Self-testing options are a positive addition to the prevention tool kit that continues to grow. 

Want to know more? Contact