a[Test] HIV openA weekly rapid HIV testing service has opened in the inner city to provide fast and convenient HIV-diagnosis tests.

Run in conjunction with the Sydney Sexual Health Centre, the a[TEST] sexual health site will open for three hours every Thursday evening offering rapid HIV testing and a complete sexual health check-up out of ACON’s offices in Surry Hills.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said the clinic would improve the chances of “getting more guys to test, more often”.

“Some guys may prefer to be tested in a traditional clinical setting while others may prefer to speak with peers in a community based setting. We have created a safe and welcoming  space where gay men can have a free and confidential rapid HIV test and get their results within half an hour, as well as a full STI screen,” Parkhill said.

The initiative comes as rapid HIV testing begins to roll out on a large scale across NSW as part of a state government drive to lower HIV infection rates by 80 percent by the year 2020. Rapid testing in NSW was first approved for trial use in sexual health clinics in November 2011 before the first testing package was approved for widespread use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in December

HIV/AIDS bodies and public health organisations have long pushed for rapid testing to become standard practise in Australia as it greatly reduces the waiting time for a HIV diagnosis and is commonly used in Europe and the United States.


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