Whether you’re straight, gay, or something in between, knowing your HIV status is important so that we can all work towards reducing HIV infections in Taiwan and around the world. Given that many people are hesitant to visit hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has launched a system for ordering HIV self-testing kits which can be delivered to convenience stores across Taiwan.
The steps are pretty simple. First visit this website (a page of the CDC website):
If you want to pay in cash, you can choose the option on the left for $245NT, and for people who register with their website, they offer vouchers.
As supplies are limited, you can get one per month. If you get tested elsewhere, leave these for people who are unlikely to get tested elsewhere or are in high-risk groups.
You’ll be prompted to enter your phone number (手機號碼) and choose a 7-11, FamilyMart or OK Mart branch near you (Click 選擇門市 and remember to turn off your popup blocker):
After you confirm, you’ll be asked to fill in a questionnaire:
Then it asks you where you lived before the age of 18 and you’re done, you just have to confirm the order a few times.
You’ll receive an order number via email and you can check the status of your order by entering your phone number, order number and email address.
How to use the test:
Here’s a quick video on how you go about using the test kit:
(My favourite line is “Don’t drink the liquid in the test-tube” by the way.)
If you don’t manage to register while stocks last, there are plenty of ways to get tested in Taiwan, whether anonymously or not, including visiting here, using a vending machine (spotted throughout the city) or visiting a hospital.
There is also free anonymous testing (blood tests – takes a week or two to get the results) held at the gay health center and at Mudan (bar in the Red House drinking area in Ximen) in Taipei as follows:
These timetables are updated every month, you can find them here.
The most commonly occurring locations have been listed below:
Gay Health Center (同志健康中心), 5F, No. 100 Kunming Street, Wanhua District, Taipei (臺北市萬華區昆明街100號5樓)
Mudan (紅樓(牡丹))(bar at the Red House drinking area in Ximen)
Aniki Wow B1, No. 11 Ningxia Road, Datong Dist. Taipei (103台北市大同區寧夏路11號B1)
Soi 13 1 No. 13 Minsheng East Road Sect 1, Zhongshan Dist. Taipei (1, No. 13號民生東路一段中山區台北市104)
XL Club 4F, No. 10 Minzu East Road, Zhongshan Dist. Taipei (4樓, No. 10號民族東路中山區台北市10491)
Taipei Men Center (城男舊事心驛站) 3F, No. 5, Alley 199, Dunhua North Road, Songshan Dist. Taipei (105台北市松山區敦化北路199巷5號 3樓)
Han Sauna No. 120 Xining South Road, Wanhua Dist. Taipei (108台北市萬華區西寧南路120號)
If the result turns out positive, there are several avenues to pursue treatment. Dr. Stephane Ku (顧文瑋) does consultations at Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Wednesday evenings (感染科), where you can get tested, explore the possibility of going on prep or get treatment.