IT is likely residents in Sydney and across the state will be given greater access to pop-up rapid HIV testing sites in coming years, following the success of such a site at Taylor Square last week.
Launched to coincide with last Sunday’s World AIDS Day, ACON’s rapid HIV testing facility, a[TEST], was taken out on the road to Sydney’s LGBTI heartland in Oxford St from November 27-December 1.
A partnership between NSW Health, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, the Sydney Sexual Health Centre, ACON and SydPath, the pop-up testing site saw more than 200 people use the free service over five days, meaning one rapid test was conducted every seven minutes during its hours of operation.
State health minister Jillian Skinner hailed its success at a function at Customs House on World AIDS Day, .
“The response to the pop-up rapid test caravan has been overwhelming – demand has been such that the operating hours have been extended,” she said.
“The NSW Government will make the pop-up service available in other sites in NSW.”
The test involves a simple finger prick of blood, with results available within 30 minutes. Those tested such as the Star Observer’s head of design, Troy Murphy (pictured), can then choose to wait at the site for their results or go away and wait for a text message.
There are now plans to establish a similar pop-up testing site in Oxford St in the lead-up to next year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
INFO: a[TEST] can be regularly accessed at two locations each week.
NEWTOWN – 222 King Street. Tuesdays, 4.30pm-7.30pm.
SURRY HILLS – 414 Elizabeth Street. Wednesdays & Thursdays, 4.30pm-7.30pm.
For more information, visit ACON’s a[TEST] website.
Photos: Serkan Ozturk