With COVID-19 related lockdowns affecting everyone, ACON has launched a new at-home HIV testing service in New South Wales for cis gay men and trans persons who have sex with men. The service is completely free, does not require a Medicare card, is contactless and can be done without visiting a clinic.
“We know our communities are engaged when it comes to looking after their sexual health,” said ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill. “But disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have made it difficult for some to get tested for HIV. With pressure on frontline health workers, we understand that some local sexual health services have been disrupted, there are reports that some are putting off accessing regular health checks at this time. you[TEST] allows men to continue their HIV testing routine and know their HIV status without having to visit a clinic.”
How will the test work?
“This new contactless service will be based on similar principles that have made a[TEST] a success, with clients supported by peers throughout the process. Our new service puts in layers of support to help men overcome barriers such as concern that they don’t know how to use the test kit, fear of a positive result, or avoiding screening due to privacy concerns related to showing up at a clinic. Our you[TEST] service provides added support from a trained peer, and links to follow up care if it is needed across NSW,” said Parkhill.
ACON is also recommending that people should continue to visit their GP or local sexual health clinic for a complete sexual health screening and STI testing.
Find out more about ACON’s you[TEST] service at http://www.endinghiv.org.au/youtest
Watch this video to find out how to use the HIV self-testing kit
Access PrEP in Melbourne without Medicare
If you are in Melbourne and without Medicare you can still access PrEP. “The PrEPMe Clinic at The Alfred will help provide access to PrEP for overseas born men who have sex with men living in Victoria who are at high risk of HIV and do not have Medicare,” Thorne Harbour informed in a post.
International students living in Australia or those without a Medicare card can apply to purchase PrEP at a subsidised cost or apply for a free PrEP coupon.
For more information, check www.pan.org.au/no-medicare
Call: HIV Prevention Line on 1800 889 887