HIV testing is governed by legislation in Ontario. Testing is a Controlled Act and can only be done by a regulated health care professional in Ontario. (Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991) However, regulated professionals authorized to conduct testing can extend their authority to do HIV testing through a written order that lays out the criteria under which others can perform the test.
In general, if staff other than physicians will be delivering HIV testing, a medical directive MUST be in place to cover all staff delivered testing. This directive must specify who is eligible to do the test and under what circumstances. For example, if your site will do both express and comprehensive HIV testing, this should be specified.
To help you better understand Medical Directives, this helpful document, Directives, has been created by the College of Nurses of Ontario.
If you are establishing a new (or updated) medical directive for your testing site and need assistance, the AIDS and Hepatitis C Programs Unit at the ministry can provide a sample directive. Please contact the Ministry at [email protected].