Alberta First Nations health centre will join study aiming to get people tested for syphilis – CBC

Researcher who proved rapid test works will explore non-traditional ways to deploy it

May 07, 2024

Health officials are teaming up to make syphilis testing more accessible to people living in central Alberta as the province grapples with a worsening years-long outbreak of the serious sexually transmitted infection.

Dr. Ameeta Singh, an infectious disease specialist and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Alberta, oversaw a 19-month clinical trial of a rapid test to quickly and easily test people for both syphilis and HIV.

The test, which was 98 per cent accurate in detecting active syphilis and 100 per cent accurate in detecting HIV, was approved by Health Canada in March 2023.

Now, Singh has received $400,000 in federal funding to explore different ways of reaching — and testing — people potentially affected by syphilis and HIV. Some of the work will happen in Maskwacis, about 85 kilometres south of Edmonton, one of Alberta’s largest First Nations communities.

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