FOR one week only, a special rapid HIV testing area will be open in western Sydney.

Rapid HIV testing will be available at Parramatta’s Centenary Square during HIV Testing Week from June 1 to 7.

 Hosted by the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), HIV Testing Weeks aims to highlight the importance of testing, reducing transmission and encouraging people at risk to take a quick test.

Rapid HIV testing is available at all WSLHD clinics throughout the year, but the team are hoping the special stand at Centenary Square will encourage more people to get tested.

Ashley Ubrihien, WSLHD HIV and Related Programs Manager said NSW had made significant progress in making testing easier and faster by providing high quality, safe and innovative testing services such as rapid HIV testing, express clinics, after hours and drop in clinics.

“Achieving high levels of testing, treatment, and maintaining safe sex practices are the key if we are to achieve our ambitious target of ending HIV transmission by 2020,” he said.

“With around 11,500 people in NSW living with HIV, HIV testing is vital because the virus is often transmitted by people who don’t know they have it.

“Twenty nine per cent of people newly diagnosed with HIV were diagnosed late during their infection, which could have been avoided with earlier testing.

“People in groups at risk of HIV, especially gay and homosexually active men, must test regularly so they can receive early treatment and prevent transmission of HIV to others.”

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