New HIV rapid testing sites for Brisbane
HIV rapid testing is now available at two additional community settings in Brisbane in a bid to reduce HIV transmissions.
The Den in Fortitude Valley and the offices of Queensland Positive People in East Brisbane are the two newest community sites where free rapid HIV testing is available, adding to existing sites including the Qld AIDS Council centre in Helen St, Teneriffe.
HIV Foundation Queensland chair Dr Darren Russell said the new initiative was another important milestone in the foundation’s goal to reduce HIV transmissions in Queensland.
“To achieve this, we need to increase testing of at-risk populations so as to ensure early diagnosis and treatment,” Russell said.
Russell said the testing was peer-based, with specifically trained peer educators carrying out the rapid tests.
He said the testing was undertaken in a confidential and non-judgmental environment where there was opportunity to discuss concerns.
“It’s in a person’s best health interest to know their HIV status because early diagnosis allows them to make informed decisions so they can actively prevent disease progression,” he said.
HIV rapid testing takes about 20 minutes to produce a result from a drop of blood taken from a patient’s finger.
Previously commenting on a rise in HIV diagnoses – so far in 2014 Queensland has recorded 93 notifications of HIV, compared to 69 for the same period in 2013 – Russell said he was prepared for the rates to rise initially.
“This may continue for a while due to increased testing and we will then expect the rates to start to drop again,” he said.
Find your nearest testing point via the Queensland Government's locator service here.